I think it’s safe and sane to say that the pompously announced .NET vNext is–from a pure software perspective–just a minor update. At the same time, it is a huge change from a broader perspective that includes development strategies and the same Microsoft business model.
Frankly, I think that the “next” in the name refers more to Microsoft itself than the (ASP).NET platform. At the same time, though, just because it refers to Microsoft it is automatically of interest for all developers and shops active on the Microsoft stack. Nobody can afford ignore the vNext thing; and nobody should blindly jump on it just because at some point in 2015 it will be officially released.
One of the key changes I see in vNext–and it took me a bit of time and discussion to figure it out–is the support for development tools across a number of different platforms. In other words, you can now bring in your own set of favorite development tools (mostly editors) whether they run on a Windows, Ubuntu, or Mac system.
Does it really make sense–I wondered? Why should a developer drop Visual Studio to use a text editor on Mac or Ubuntu? That’s the point–a Microsoft developer probably won’t. At the same time, the BYOT approach opens the door to developers that just don’t use Microsoft products, are proud of their Mac, and won’t even consider running Windows though in a local or Azure VM. Thanks to excellent editors such as WebStorm and Sublime developers who wish can write for the next .NET (specifically, ASP.NET).
This is a huge thing. And the fact that I missed it entirely the first time I heard about it just … reinforces the point.