Tuesday, June 17, 2008

News flash: .NET runs on XP and Vista

I was surprised to read the post that Matt Asay (of CNET) wrote (that hit TechMeme in a big way), touting Evans Data's report that claimed that only 8% of developers are targeting Windows Vista, while 49% are targeting XP.

It showed an astounding ignorance of how software is developed for the two operating systems -- without having read the report, it certainly calls into question whether Evans Data and Asay have any idea what developing software for these platforms is like.

In almost every case, it's not an either/or situation: .NET runs perfectly on both OSs, and almost all software written in .NET runs on both. If Evans and Asay don't know that, they're not qualified to be writing reports like these (or writing about reports like these).

If the survey forced developers to choose XP or Vista-- it was either designed by someone who doesn't understand the platform, or it was designed to try to make developers make a choice that would result in a controversial headline.

And for Asay to blindly quote the survey shows a predilection for Microsoft-bashing (and ignorance as well). The comments on his post, however, make it clear that many of his readers do understand the software world, and understand that the dichotomy is a false one.

The study didn't mention Mac OS X at all, but Asay still finds reason to put in a good word for it. I wonder if it ever occurred to him that most software that runs in Leopard would still run in Tiger. Or possibly even Panther. And that developers can target the platform without targeting a particular version.

Anand Iyer of Microsoft has a good post up here that discusses this in more detail.

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