“Sanjay P”, the VP of Developer and Platform Evangelism, chatted with us. No slides, just a conversation. Sanjay’s style was unique and engaging: he walked around the room, staring down everyone, and if you maintained eye contact, you got immediately engaged in a conversation.

Sanjay Parthasarathy

Most of the time was spent chatting about Microsoft’s developer outreach strategy and attendees poured in the feedback about how we thought Microsoft could do a better job reaching out to developers and customers.

Some of the interested tidbits that emerged:

  • Microsoft is about to launch a “prosumer” community called Channel 10
  • They are working on launching web developer and student communities
  • I asked why he thought they hadn’t seen mass migration from Java to .NET. He said he thought they had. He said 3 years ago they did a survey of 36,000 developers (“Which developers?” I asked; “Not just MSDN, wide industry swath” he said) and 30% of them were using Java. This year, he says, 73% say they use .NET and 53% say they are using Java EE. Unfortunately, he couldn’t say how many were using .NET three years ago and wasn’t clear on whether the change from “Java” three years ago to “Java EE” was significant, etc.
  • I followed up with asking why he thought no Java luminaries had moved over; he said they simply can’t convert zealots. We had a long conversation about me contending that they simply weren’t getting their message out, that many people simply don’t know how compelling their platform is

The one quote of interest I got was, “I don’t care if people ‘move’ to .NET, they can do all the Java they want, as long as they use .NET and Java.”

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