Can ASP.NET Become the Next Node.JS?

I realize how crazy that sounds, but after yesterday’s keynote from Microsoft at the VS Connect event in New York, I’m wondering if my goal to find a true cross-platform technology is sitting back at base camp just…leveling up.

ASP.NET and the KVM

This isn’t any secret as this demo was done a while ago by Microsoft, but ASP.NET 5 (formerly known as ASP.NET vNext) can run on OSX or Linux meaning we can host ASP.NET application on anything.

Literally anything.

Using the K Version Manager (KVM) you install it and then manage the version of the .NET Framework from there. That way as they release new versions, your applications don’t break in the process.

Oh, and it’s open source. So, just download it and take a look.

Screenshot of page for aspnet/Home repository

ASP.NET is Tried and Tested

Given JavaScript on both the client and server is a cool concept, and in practice is works considering if you know how to JavaScript on the client, you know a bunch of JavaScript on the server.

Still, ASP.NET has been a server side technology for quite sometime. In fact, it’s been backed by a company that lives and breathes software as the core of their business. At the end of the day ASP.NET paid its dues and is tried, tested, and has experienced leaders at the helm.

NodeJS isn’t Growing

NodeJS platform improvement has started to slow down, not to say that it isn’t great, but there is always room for improvement in software. A platform that had fast and furious release cycles to include improvements and general changes to help mature the project quickly to compete with the likes of ASP.NET and Ruby. They have been working on version 0.10 for almost two years now and there are still plans for version 0.12, which is supposed to follow-up with an official 1.0 release.

Plus, NodeJS has recently come under fire with respect to progress and direction, which could lead to a fork in the project.

There are groups like Node Forward trying to get the ball rolling again, but Joyent is an infrastructure company, not a software one. Do they have an interest in moving the platform forward? Changing software platforms means upgrades and changes. Is there really a good reason for them to change?

The Point

At this point, I don’t think ASP.NET is going to take over the NodeJS market, but I do think there is an opportunity for Microsoft and going cross-platform.

As long as NodeJS is sitting there stagnating, trying to find direction developers are going to keep on building software. At the end of the day, are you going to pick a new platform that quickly went silent, or a tried and tested platform that can work on any machine?

2015 just might be the year of ASP.NET.

~ Thanks for Playing.


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