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Where Are the Developers Going?

Just before the July 4 break, Evans Data Corp. released the results of a developer survey that it says shows growing cracks in the dominance of Windows as a target for programmers. The survey found that the percentage of North American programmers targeting Windows server or client OSes has dropped, from 74 percent in 2006 to 64.8 percent in 2007. Evans Data predicts further erosion, on the order of 2 percent, in 2008.

The winner in the survey? Linux, which has seen its share of developer attention grow from 8.8 percent to 11.8 percent over the past year.

The results, honestly, hardly seem surprising. Interest in Web-centric applications -- including rich Internet applications built on AJAX, Flash and soon Silverlight -- is exploding. And Evans Data points out that developer attention has shifted to "niche operating systems for non-traditional client devices," which I imagine includes cell phones, smart phones, BlackBerrys, MP3 players and every manner of hybrid device.

Perhaps most important, Microsoft continues to hold the loyalty of the developer teams themselves. The survey shows that the use of Windows as a platform for creating applications remains firm.

Do your development plans mirror what's being reported in this survey? And do you think this trend could mean trouble for Microsoft? E-mail me at

Posted by Michael Desmond on 07/11/2007 at 1:15 PM

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