It’s been about a year since Microsoft released the much-ballyhooed .NET development platform. However, many industry observers say that .NET still hasn’t gained widespread acceptance within the industry. In a recent poll, we asked whether your organization planned to begin working with .NET sometime in 2003. The results, shown in Figure A, appear to correspond with the view that the technology is a bit immature.

Figure A
Many groups aren’t ready for .NET yet.

As you can see, 16.9 percent of the respondents reported that they are already using .NET. I’m not sure how you’d define “widespread acceptance,” but I wouldn’t think that approximately one user in six qualifies. I’d say that our results here support the assertion that .NET is still an early adopter’s platform. Whether that’s disappointing (I wouldn’t necessarily think so) depends on your point of view.

Looking toward the future, though, .NET appears to be gathering steam: 33.5 percent of poll respondents said they’d be working on .NET before our calendars flip over to 2004. If that’s anywhere close to a correct estimate—we all know how plans change—that will put about half of the community on .NET by this time next year. So it would appear that we’re still some months away from anything approaching widespread acceptance.

.NET in 2003? No thanks
Nearly 50 percent of the respondents selected the answer “No, we won’t move,” so they apparently won’t be jumping onto the .NET bandwagon anytime soon. Granted, we’re not all Microsoft developers; one look at last year’s technology use survey results will tell you that. So we’ve naturally picked up more than a few non-Microsoft developers in this answer. And some of the respondents may have plans to move to .NET, just not in 2003.

However, at least a few respondents will find themselves in a scenario similar to that raised in a recent discussion: that of the “legacy” non-.NET maintenance programmer laboring over an app that simply doesn’t have a business reason for conversion. If you fall into that category, I’d like to hear from you. How do you feel about your situation? Drop me an e-mail or post to our discussion below.

What should we ask in the next poll?

We’re always open to suggestions when it comes to questions for a Quick Poll. If you have an interesting idea, or if there’s something you’ve always wanted to know about members, send the editors an e-mail.