Vista and the .NET Framework

Curious about how much Vista actually uses the .NET framework, I wrote a little Ruby script that walks the Windows directory looking for managed assemblies.

Of the 8969 (*.exe|*.dll) files found, 824 of them have managed code in them, or just over 9%.

What makes it worse is that most of the managed code that comes with Vista isn’t actually used by Vista – it’s code that’s supplied for developers to use.  The framework itself, the managed DirectX libraries, the Office Interop libraries.

The executables that come with Vista that use .NET (that aren’t part of the framework itself, and so qualify as actually using the framework to write an application) are:

Narrator.exe (the screen reader)
mtedit.exe (Group policy migration table editor)

And a lot of the Media Center code.

That’s it.

Even completely new tools like Windows Photo Gallery appear to be written using other technologies like ATL, rather than using managed code.

The 1.0 version of the .NET Framework was released in February, 2002, so that’s almost 4 years ago.  Around July 2004 is when the big “Vista Reset” happened, where they supposedly went back to the XP SP2 codebase and started over on a lot of the Vista features.. so it’s not like this stuff was written before .NET existed.

I know Microsoft uses .NET for some projects – but the key breadwinners – Windows and Office – obviously don’t use it. 

I’d really like to hear from someone inside Microsoft why they continue to NOT use the development environment that they encourage the rest of the world to use.