We're always going to have a half a million or 50 million religious VB programmers. But guess what? We have VB in .NET. And now we have Java language in .NET. We've even got COBOL!" – Tim Huckaby, President and CEO, Interknowlogy
Programming languages are an inherently personal choice, one based on a number of factors. Rather than force programmers to adopt one language over another, Microsoft provides a platform on which a number of languages—C++, Objective-C, Fortran, COBOL, Visual Basic®, Perl—can each flourish and enjoy full access to the power and flexibility of the .NET Framework.
For its part, Microsoft offers four programming languages and associated development environments, each designed to appeal to a particular school of programmer:
Visual Basic .NET, the latest version of the world's most popular development tool and language. Visual Basic .NET delivers unsurpassed productivity and unique language features for task-oriented developers building solutions with the .NET Framework.
Visual C++® .NET, the tool of maximum power and control. With the C++ language, power-oriented developers can bridge platform technologies and build both native Windows-based and .NET-connected solutions with maximum performance characteristics and enhanced functionality.
Visual C#® .NET, the modern and innovative programming language and tool. Introduced in 2001, C# offers a familiar syntax, that is attractive to C++ and Java developers, along with unique language constructs that offer code-focused developers a more elegant experience when developing applications for the .NET Framework.
Visual J#® .NET, the Java-language tool for Microsoft .NET. Visual J# .NET gives Java-language and existing Visual J++ developers complete access to the .NET Framework and the industry's most advanced XML Web services platform, while maintaining a familiar language and syntax.