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Microsoft's Programming Language Approach Pays Off, Popularity Report Says

RedMonk's latest programming language popularity report says Microsoft's multi-language approach is paying off, giving the company the "most to crow about" among all vendors.

The report, published this week but reflecting January 2018 data, shows several Microsoft-backed languages high up in the ranking.

Here's the list of the top 20 languages, judged by the number of StackOverflow tags and number of GitHub projects:

  1. JavaScript
  2. Java
  3. Python
  4. PHP
  5. C#
  6. C++
  7. CSS
  8. Ruby
  9. C
  10. Swift
  11. Objective-C
  12. Shell
  13. R
  14. TypeScript
  15. Scala
  16. Go
  17. PowerShell
  18. Perl
  19. Haskell
  20. Lua

Noting that PowerShell gained one position, R two and TypeScript three, RedMonk weighed in on the popularity of Microsoft's programming languages.

"Of all of the vendors represented on this list, Microsoft has by a fair margin the most to crow about," RedMonk said. "Its ops-oriented language PowerShell continues its steady rise, and R had a bounceback from earlier slight declines. TypeScript, meanwhile, pulled off a contextually impressive three spot jump from #17 to #14. Given that growth in the top 20 comes at a premium, hitting the ranking that a widespread language like R enjoyed in our last rankings is an impressive achievement.

"From a macro perspective, it's also worth noting that Microsoft is seeing growth across three distinct categories in operations, analytics/data science and application development.It's a strong indication that Microsoft's multi-language approach to the broader market is paying dividends."

One reader argued that putting R in the Microsoft camp is a mischaracterization, saying: "There might be a misunderstanding here. Its being implied that R is a Microsoft language -- that is not the case. R is brought to us by the 'R Foundation' (see https://www.r-project.org/foundation/)."

In reply, another reader said: "True, but it's been the largest institution outside of the Foundation pushing R, and a lot of R's growth could be attributed to Microsoft's considerable efforts across it's stack and tooling."

This plot graphic provides more details on the latest rankings from RedMonk:

January 2018 RedMonk Ranking
[Click on image for larger view.] January 2018 RedMonk Ranking (source: RedMonk)

Coincidentally, another tracker of programming language popularity, the TIOBE Index, also published its latest report this week, covering data up to March. It shows C#, Visual Basic .NET, Visual Basic and R in the top 20:

TIOBE Index for March 2018
[Click on image for larger view.] TIOBE Index for March 2018 (source: TIOBE Index)

You can read more about both reports at out sister publication's site, ADTmag.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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