C# 3.0 finally provides some competition to COBOL/xBase
Well PDC is underway and for all the nice Vista, WinFX and Office 12 news, what really excites me most is LINQ (Language INtegrated Query). This is huge. Finally COBOL and xBase have some serious competition in terms of language integrated data capabilities. I've always been tickled by the fact that even though COBOL is a horrible programming language by many measures, it's persisted data handling features are unmatched by most modern programming languges. Do not argue about that with me. I was made to suffer a semester of COBOL plus a mini project in my Engineering and I am intimately aware of it benefits and deficiencies :) That's precisely why a large proportion of business software (esp. on Mainframes etc) is still in COBOL! Heck .Net was a huge blessing for the COBOL folks who promptly became modern by implementing COBOL in .Net and automagically being able to use all the .Net features. That should also tell you that there is enough money to be made in that. It's nice that finally I will have some of the ease of data use features in C# that was available decades ago in COBOL. To be fair the xBase languages also had integrated data handling features but there are significant differences. For one the xBase products weren't true Relational Databases. For another, none of those languages managed to become widely used general purpose programming languages. xBase languages were nice for their days but can't hold against modern languages. The nice thing here is that you now have Query support in general purpose programming languages and the base programming framework. Trust me that's a huge thing.
Edit: Added links to the relevant technologies being discussed.