Survey: XP Developers’ Top OS Target

A new survey shows that Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system has finally overtaken Windows 2000 as a target for developers.

According to Evans Data Corp., the number of developers aiming for Windows XP surged 150 percent over the previous year. At the same time, the number of developers writing for Windows 2000 fell by nearly 25 percent.

The statistics come from Evans Data Corp.’s Spring 2004 North American Development Survey, which queried more than 500 North American developers. An Evans’ spokesman was not available at press time.

In a statement, Brian Cooper, Evans’ director of research, said: “Windows XP started off slowly in our Spring 2001 survey but has demonstrated strong growth since our Fall 2002 survey.”

The survey also found that Visual Basic.NET has been steadily gaining ground against Visual Basic. The survey’s authors expect VB.NET development to exceed VB development for the first time within the next year.

Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Evans Data predicts that VB usage will drop 30 percent while VB.NET usage will rise by an additional 30 percent in the next year.

Windows 2003 jumped by more than 40 percent in developer perception as the most secure OS, though Linux retained its top spot.

Web Services deployments are also increasing, according to the survey. Evans Data reports that 34 percent of developers are currently deploying Web Services applications, a 25 percent increase over their previous survey six months ago.

SOAP continues to dominate Web Services technologies and increased its share by 15 percent.

IBM sees similar trends and expects Web Services and Service-Oriented Architecture to continue to snowball. Web Services/SOA is also seen as a valuable expertise for programmers to acquire.

A Microsoft spokesman was not available for comment on the development trends identified in the survey.

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