More .NET apps in Fedora Core 5 than Windows Vista?

Will Fedora Core 5, the Linux distro supported by Red Hat, have more managed code than Windows Vista? It sure looks that way. Microsoft has made heavy use of .NET in their developer and enterprise products, but .NET is pretty much absent from Windows Vista , as evidenced by Richard Grimes' recent analysis.

Contrast that with Fedora Core 5, which will ship with Mono and three managed desktop applications: Beagle, F-Spot, and Tomboy. Mono is a great addition to Linux from a developer point of view, but the specific justification for shipping Mono with Fedora is to ship desktop applications for users. So, Miguel sees the benefit of using .NET to build desktop applications which greatly improve the user experience. Does Microsoft?

Of course there are justifications as to why the core desktop experience isn't being built on .NET, but I think they're kind of poor. For instance, although there are plenty of packages and sample code on writing shell extensions in .NET, it's not recommended because the .NET code may be inserted into all running processes. Doesn't that say that something needs to change in the File Open dialog or the way .NET integrates with the shell?

However, there's really no excuse for avoiding .NET on WinForm desktop applications. The only ones I can think of all boil down to priorities and confidence in the .NET framework. As I've said before, shipping Paint.NET with Vista would at least be a token .NET offering, if Microsoft doesn't have time to create a Notepad.NET. Heck, you could round up tons of free .NET tools browsing the Microsoft site for a few days. Ship a few of them. By default. On the Start Menu.

Fedora Core will ship three WinForm applications this month, and Vista will ship zero this fall? Please tell me I'm wrong.



  • There are lots of client apps within Vista that use managed code.

    For example: many of the new admin tools in Vista are written in managed code (for example: the IIS7 admin UI and the Windows EventViewer). The InfoCard authentication UI in Internet Explorer is also written in managed code.

    Hope this helps,


  • Scott, that's true, but none of these will be used by normal users. These are developer tools. I very much agree that the developer tools teams at Microsoft are shipping tons of .NET code, but none of it gets near average users.

    Fedora's shipping desktop applications targeted towards non-developers. I wish Vista would do that.

  • Jon, what's the benefit of a non-developer knowing whether or not an app is built with .NET?

    As Scott pointed out, developer wise MS is including some .NET stuff which is where Microsoft needs to be fighting their battles and showing commitment to their framework. The end user doesn't care about frameworks, my mom doesn't care about frameworks, only us geeks do.

    Look at it like house building, if I'm a carpenter I may care about the specifics of the lumber used for the frame but if all I care about is a good shelter for my family who cares what's behind the dry wall?


  • Justin, valid points.

    However, the difference is that my carpenter also sells construction products for DIY projects, and has been pushing drywall for the past 5 years: "You don't want to use that plaster stuff! It's way too slow, and it's not even very safe!"

    Then I happen to notice he's remodeling his home, and he's using lathe and plaster.

    What's the deal?

    Microsoft built the best development framework around several years ago, but they're not really using it where it matters to them - Windows, IE, Office (other than little addons and widgets).

  • Plus, my mom is sick of her applications corrupting memory and the vulnerabilities caused by buffer overruns and underruns etc...

    Managed code is no panacea, but it's a lot easier to write more secure code with it. Consider that a majority of the major vulnerabilities are issues with buffer overruns, something that's hard to do in .NET.

  • .Net apps are fine on the server but Please.. Don't pressure Microsoft into putting winforms on my desktop. I want fast and snappy applications from Microsoft. Managed code is about cheapening development costs, not providing the best user experience possible.

    Save those Managed Code apps for cheap feeling one off applications intended for 1 or 2 users.

  • Most of the Media Center Edition is built with C# if I'm not mistaken.

  • I agree with you. I would like to see more .net code shipped with windows. For one thing it would help validate the use of .net for serious apps.

    But at the same time, I understand why they don't. If you have a codebase that is 95% COM are you going to spend time re-writing those same apps with the same features just so you can say they are .Net? Or are you going to spend your resources (which like or not, mainly C++ developers) on adding features that can be produced faster and leverage your existing code base?

  • John -

    Good points. I think the COM codebase is an asset that is quickly decaying into a liability. It's tougher to support, let alone extend. So, of course you shouldn't port code just to say you've done it, but I believe there are immediate and long term advantages to advancing the platform beyond COM.

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