Microsoft to Announce C#

SAN MATEO (06/26/2000) - Microsoft Corp. officials confirmed that the company will announce this week a new programming language, dubbed C#.

"C# is a language derived from C and C++ that provides a way for developers to build applications and components for the .Net platform," said Tony Goodhew, Microsoft's Visual C++ product manager.

Microsoft announced the .Net platform, previously known as Next Generation Windows Services (NGWS), last week at Forum 2000 on the company's Redmond, Washington, campus.

"C# bears the hallmarks of a Microsoft twist on the Java goal of write-once-run-anywhere convenience, in addition to offering easier access to some of the distributed, object-oriented programming attributes of Java and other languages," according to Dana Gardner, an analyst with the Aberdeen Group, a market research firm in Boston.

"They seem to be saying you can use whatever tools and languages you want to craft code and design applications, and shine your code through their lens and run it on Windows," Gardner said. "But Microsoft might face an uphill battle.

They continue to be a little bit behind the momentum and cohesion to Java in the marketplace," he addedBut Microsoft's Goodhew stressed that C# is not a reaction to Java.

"The problem that Java solved is that you can write the code once and run it anywhere," Goodhew said. "The problem customers wanted solved is how to get all their different applications to work together."

Goodhew said Microsoft is using XML in both C# and the overall .Net platform to enable disparate applications to exchange data.

C# will be included in the next version of Visual Studio, which will be called Visual Studio.Net. A pre-release of the product will be given to developers next month at Microsoft's Professional Developer's Conference.

"C# is a member of the Visual Studio family and, as a result, has the rapid application development side of things that all the Visual Studio tools have," Goodhew said.

Tom Sullivan is an Infoworld senior writer. Additional reporting by Ted Smalley Bowen.

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