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 Research Director for Big Data and Analytics at Gigaom Research. Andrew is co-author of "Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2012" (Microsoft Press); an advisor to NYTECH, the New York Technology Council; co-moderator of Big On Data - New York's Data Intelligence Meetup; serves as Microsoft Regional Director and MVP; and is conference co-chair of Visual Studio Live!