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Developers React to Guthrie's Departure

Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed that Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Platform, was moving to assume control of the new Azure Application Platform group. The transfer has big implications for the .NET developer community, which has benefited from a host of advances during Guthrie's tenure in the Developer Division at Microsoft.

Rob Sanfilippo, analyst at research firm Directions on Microsoft, praised Guthrie's work and reach at Dev Div. "Scott Guthrie is highly regarded by the developer community, and he exudes a perception of influence and knowledge across all of Microsoft’s developer platforms and tools."

But developers are understandably concerned about the move. Wrote one reader of the early reports (by blogger Mary Jo Foley) that Guthrie might be leaving: "Scott Guthrie moving to the Windows Azure team? Say it isn't so! I sure hope it's a false rumor!"

Alas, Microsoft itself soon confirmed the rumor, though the company seemed anxious to blunt one avenue of concern about the decision.

“His move does not indicate changes to Silverlight development that were outlined back in early April and at MIX," said a Microsoft spokesperson when asked about Guthrie's transition. "Microsoft’s commitment to Silverlight is strong, both for the Web and Mobile applications."

While questions about the many projects launched or led by Guthrie will no doubt linger, most Visual Studio Magazine readers seemed anxious to see what the former .NET Platform head can do in the Azure group.

Wrote VSM reader Steven James: "I am very pleased to hear of Scott's move. As a developer, I thought up until now that the Azure team was not getting what us developers need to create product for it. A 30-day trial just does not cut it for a developer. Scott's take will be welcomed. One simple task should be the following: Make it FUN for us to develop with Azure and make it affordable for developers."

Developer Shahzad Sarwar, who said he is looking forward to Guthrie's "good work in the Azure domain," also railed against the 30-day limit.

"I once tried to explore Azure but can't move forward because of trial limitations. Microsoft should give more space to developers of Azure," Sarwar wrote.

Another developer, who identified himself as Mike, hoped Guthrie can get Microsoft to create "an Azure Express version for developers to thoroughly kick the tires on Azure. Make a very small version available for free for devs so we can test code and features without the worry of getting a credit card charge or running out of trial-time. We don't need a lot of CPU or database size to test our code, we just want the barrier (cost and trial time-limit) removed to try this out."

He continued: "SkyDrive gives 5 GB for free. SQL Server Express is free. SQL Compact 4 is free. VS2010 Express is free. Let us play for free, and then we can pay for it when we're ready to publish real sites."

What are your concerns as Guthrie moves from the Developer Division to his new position with the Azure Application Platform group? And what would you like to see Guthrie accomplish in his new role? Email me at [email protected] or leave a comment below.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 05/05/2011

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