Here is good post from Scott Allen on the topic Where Is .NET Headed?
I agree with Scoot that the .Net community is not as healthy as it could be, and that Microsoft should Open Source .NET (see some of the comments)
Of course that I'm biased, but I think that the fact that Microsoft (and the .NET community) keeps ignoring all the .Net innovation and ideas that I have been publishing on the O2 Platform (see all these blog posts) speaks volumes for the lack of adoption of new ideas.
For example, at the moment the O2 C# REPL and the FluentSharp APIs, actually allow faster and more efficient development than VisualStudio (you can also use O2+FluentSharp inside VisualStudio)
Yes, I know that I don't play Microsoft's game of singing NDAs and be part of their MVPs club, but that is no reason to ignore what is going on.
And yes there are still tons of usability problems in the current version of the O2 Platform (not that VisualStudio can really claim that mantra), BUT, the point of innovation is that it is rough around the edges.
What I know is that Microsoft and .NET community is missing a big opportunity by not learning and embracing what I'm doing in my conner of the interweb.
And for me, I'm confortable with my focus and efforts, since everytime I show the O2 Platform to .NET developers they get very excited with what it can do and how it works (here are a bunch of O2 Platform videos)
Also it is important to note that even really good .NET developers, in May 2013 are NOT ABLE to 'use VisualStudio' as efficiently/quickly as I can 'use the O2 Platform' to create .NET applications. So yes , this means that at the moment (in the right hands) the O2 Platform can be more productive than VisualStudio (in fact the O2 Platform represents what VisualStudio 2020 will probably look like).
The key problem here is that I have lots of pressure to move O2 into other platforms and OS (see OSX posts), and the more I keep being ignored, the less connection I have with the Microsoft-driven .NET community.
And Microsoft (in 2013) seems to have lost the concept that developers are one of their most amazing assets.
I am a primarily a .NET developer (even releasing/developing commercial .NET applications like TeamMentor) and I really don't think that Microsoft cares.
And this (lack of real focus on developers) is why Microsoft needs to let Steve Ballmer go.
Microsoft needs to embrace technical/software engineering excellence, from the top-down and down-up.
Microsoft needs to become (again) a Technology/Development company (with capital T and D ).
One that cares about developers and is worried about the quality of the code it produces (and encourages the production of quality code).
Microsoft should 'represent' code quality and great/simple software engineering
At the moment, it looks like Google is going to claim that title (in the current decade)