For years Microsoft was seen as a corporate monster gobbling up young startups and generally stumbling into markets either too early, as in the case of tablets or too late, as in the case of smart phone hardware.  As a result companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung now rule the consumer electronics space and with them have gone the developers to Objective-C, Android, and other open source technologies.  But with Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft’s latest hardware successes with the Surface Pro tablet series, an upcoming refreshed Lumia flagship line with Continuum, and now the very well received Surface Book have started to change the consumer image from corporate marauder to well intentioned underdog.  So does this mean the developers will return too?

Microsoft is placing a big bet that new technologies will entice developers to build next generation apps on top of these new hardware platforms.  Microsoft Research is pumping out new technologies like Project Oxford‘s visual, speech, and facial recognition and Project Orleans massive scaled actor based programming model.  The promise of a unified development platform in Windows 10 is also generating excitement with technologies like Universal Windows AppsWindows Bridges for porting Android and iOS apps, and IoT on Windows.  And of course Microsoft’s got the cloud covered with their Azure offerings including Machine Learning as a Service, and Service Bus.

Will all of this be enough to bring developers back to Microsoft’s ecosystem?  What technologies are you most looking forward to put to use?  How are you going to use them?  Vote for your favorite technologies in our latest poll and hit the comment links to tell us what you want to build.

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