With TypeScript, Microsoft Embraces and Augments
Hejlsberg Can Read the Writing
If you look at his track record, Hejlsberg seems a keen realist. On the one hand, he was the man behind Turbo Pascal and Delphi, the latter of which was rumored to have the code name VBK, or Visual Basic Killer. On the other hand, the subsequent Microsoft dominance over Borland (and the dominance of Visual Basic over Deplhi) was incontrovertible, and helped Microsoft lure Hejlsberg to Redmond. When he got there, he made himself at home, developing technology that supported the Visual Basic visual development model while implementing language and framework concepts that he felt more comfortable with.
Competition and Cooperation
Could TypeScript provide comparable notoriety and opportunity? Maybe, but it needs wider IDE support. The Visual Studio 2012 plug-in and browser-based "playground" are part of a good start, as are the TypeScript sample syntax files for Sublime Text, Emacs and Vi. But I'd also like to see support for Visual Studio 2010, Visual Web Developer Express, WebMatrix and, for the home run, first-class support in Eclipse. It's only with support across the Microsoft ecosystem -- and beyond it -- that Redmond's commitment to TypeScript will be fully evident.
Andrew Brust is Founder and CEO of Blue Badge Insights, an analysis, strategy and advisory firm serving Microsoft customers and partners. Brust is also a Microsoft Regional Director and MVP; an advisor to the New York Technology Council; and co-author of "Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2012" (Microsoft Press, 2012). A frequent speaker at industry events, Brust is co-chair of the Visual Studio Live! family of conferences and a contributing editor to Visual Studio Magazine. Brust has been a participant in the Microsoft ecosystem for over 20 years, and has worked closely with both Microsoft's Redmond-based corporate team and its field organization for much of the last 15. He is a member of several "insiders" groups that supply him with insight around important technologies out of Redmond. Follow Brust on Twitter @andrewbrust.