The New Microsoft

Microsoft is a big, big, big name in our industry. No matter what they do, everybody notices. Whether it’s good or bad, useful or ridiculous, big or small, it never goes by unnoticed.

I have written a lot about Microsoft, either in this blog or in De Programmatica Ipsum. In the latter we literally had an issue dedicated to it. In other editions, I chose to write about their history of EULAs and patents and into their newfound love for JavaScript.

Most importantly, I pondered about its motivations nowadays.

In any case, it’s impossible to ignore them. Particularly in my case; for a large chunk of my career, I actually made a living writing code in whichever programming language they bundled with Visual Studio.

And then, one day in February 2014, a previously unheard person (for me) named Satya Nadella became the third CEO in the company’s history.

And in the space of a few years after that, Microsoft joined the Linux Foundation. They bought Xamarin, LinkedIn, and GitHub. Azure grew to become a serious competitor (maybe the only one) to Amazon AWS. Microsoft Teams becomes the most hated product during the pandemic. Microsoft Edge ditches its engine for Chromium. Their Twitch channel grows to 12'000 followers, effectively deprecating Channel 9. Surface laptops and tablets started appearing in Grey’s Anatomy in lieu of iPads and MacBooks.

Understandably, enough, its stock price followed.

For developers, many names mark this new era; let’s enumerate some of them. TypeScript to bring some order on the frontend; F# to make functional developers happy; .NET celebrating its 20 years while finally available on Linux and Mac; .NET MAUI for all your user interfaces; Visual Studio Code to write all code; SQL Server for Linux because why not; GitHub to own all code; npm to own all JavaScript; Scott Hanselman to teach us everything we need to know.

To say that the company has changed in the past 8 years is an understatement.