November 2016

Volume 31 Number 11

[First Word]

Any Developer, Any App, Any Platform

By Julia Liuson | November 2016

Every company is a software company. Regardless of what industry you’re in—farming and agriculture, banking and finance, education and others—technology is transforming how the world runs. Software will be disruptive in multiple dimensions as every company is looking for innovative ways to engage their customers, empower their employees, optimize their operations and transform their products. As a developer, this leads to unique and new opportunities. It’s going to be an amazing year for building software.

The core of our vision is “Any Developer, Any App, Any Platform.” With our Visual Studio family, including the recent addition of Xamarin, we are committed to bringing you the most powerful and productive development tools and services to build mobile-first and cloud-first apps across Windows, iOS, Android and Linux.

Even a year ago, I couldn’t imagine where we’d be. .NET Core, .NET Compiler “Roslyn,” ASP.NET, Visual Studio Code, Xamarin and TypeScript are all open source projects. GitHub just published its 2016 statistics ( and Microsoft is the No. 1 leader in open source contributors, above Facebook, Docker and Google, with 16,419 unique contributors. Visual Studio Code (@code) is in the top 10 repositories on GitHub with the most open source contributors with more than 5,855 contributors. I am proud, and humbled, to see how active our open source community is and how much our developer division has led the way in Microsoft embracing open source.

It is also a great time to be a .NET developer! The .NET ecosystem is thriving. With the acquisition of Xamarin, you can now write native C# apps for any mobile platform—iOS, Android or Windows—in any version of Visual Studio, leading to a higher percentage of code sharing across your apps. And with the release of .NET Core 1.0 in June, we’ve brought you a cross-platform, open source, and modular .NET platform that’s designed to help you target the needs of modern applications—highly distributed apps, componentization with microservices, and isolation with containers. Our customers have shipped production solutions with .NET Core and are seeing huge productivity and performance wins:

  • NetEase, a leading Internet and gaming company in China, chose Unity and .NET Core for its back-end and front-end services to enable code sharing. When compared to the company’s previous Java back-end architecture: “.NET Core has reduced our release cycle by 20 percent and cost on engineering resources by 30 percent.” When speaking about the throughput improvements and cost savings: “Additionally, it has made it possible to reduce the number of virtual machines needed in production by half.”
  • Illyriad Games, the team behind “Age of Ascent,” reported a 10-fold increase in performance ( using ASP.NET Core with Azure Service Fabric.
  • Our lab runs ( using industry benchmarks for Web platforms on Linux, including the TechEmpower Benchmarks (, show that ASP.NET Core is eight times faster than Node.js, and almost three times better than Go, on the same hardware. We’re hoping to see official numbers from TechEmpower soon!

We’ve designed the .NET standard library to be common across the full .NET Framework, .NET Core, Unity and Xamarin, so any app you create will be able to share common capabilities in the future and you’ll be able to reuse your skills across the entire .NET family.

Our commitment to cross-platform goes beyond just the apps you write. Visual Studio Code, hitting 1.0 in April, brings you a lightweight code editor that is fully open sourced and runs every­where, including Windows, Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS) and OS X. The Visual Studio Code community is incredibly vibrant and growing! We’ve seen 1.4 million downloads in the last six months alone, and extensions for Visual Studio Code have grown from less than 400 to more than 1,400 in the last year.

This month, at our Connect(); conference in November, we have the opportunity to talk about the next wave of the Microsoft developer platform and services, and how our tools and services will bring a connected end-to-end story from client tools, to DevOps, to an intelligent cloud. I’m excited to share more around how we enable you to be productive across any platform, and the commitment to openness in how we work.

Julia Liuson is the corporate vice president of the Visual Studio and .NET Framework teams at Microsoft. She is responsible for developer tools and services, including the programming languages and runtimes designed for a broad base of software developers and development teams, as well as for the Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and the .NET Framework lines of products and services.

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