Microsoft languages pick up steam

C++, C#, and Visual Basic .Net make the biggest popularity gains in May's Tiobe index

Languages popular in the Microsoft development realm, including C++, C#, and Visual Basic. Net, are making strides in language popularity.

This month's Tiobe Index of language popularity has the three languages as the biggest climbers compared to a year ago. C++, ranked in third place in the index, had a rating of 7.875 percent, an increase of 1.89 percentage points over last May's rating of 5.985 percent, fifth-place C# rose 1.52 percentage points to 5.263 percent, and Visual Basic .Net jumped 1.7 percentage points to 2.968 percent, good enough for eighth place. Tiobe gauges popularity based on a formula assessing searches on languages in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Wikipedia.

"These three programming languages are also the key languages of Microsoft's Visual Studio," a report accompanying the index states. "Is this a coincidence? Microsoft's Visual Studio is one of the few commercial programming environments that stood the test of time. Together with Eclipse it is one of the most frequently used IDEs in industry. So it is no wonder that C++, C#, and Visual Basic.Net are on the rise." But Paul Jansen, Tiobe managing director and compiler of the report, does not see any particular reason for Microsoft languages to continue growing in popularity, not even with the upcoming release of the Windows 10 operating system.

Objective-C, Scala, and F# languages fell in popularity this month. Although still ranked fourth in popularity, Objective-C's rating of 5.393 percent was 6.4 percentage points less than its rating from a year ago. The language has been popular for development of Apple iOS mobile applications, but last June, Apple introduced the Swift language as a successor to Objective-C. Scala, ranked 32nd this month with a rating of .536 percent, had been ranked 25th last month while F#, in 37th place this month, was in 11th place in March. "The sudden drops for Scala and F# can happen any time," Jansen said in an email. "Everything beyond 10th is less stable because we have to deal with the fact that small fluctuations there have big consequences. One of the reasons is that if a search engine shows too many outliers, it won't qualify."

Elsewhere in the index, Java again finished in first place with a rating of 16.869 percent, barely beating out C, with a 16.847 percent rating. After C++, Objective-C, and C#, Python finished sixth (3.725 percent), followed by JavaScript (3.127 percent), Visual Basic .Net, PHP (2.72 percent), and Visual Basic (1.893 percent) in 10th place.

The rival PyPL Popularity of Programming Language Index, which examines searches on language tutorials in Google, had Java in first place with a 24.1 percent share, followed by PHP (11.4 percent), Python (10.9 percent), C# (8.9 percent), C++ (8 percent), C (7.6 percent), JavaScript (7.1 percent), Objective-C (5.7 percent), Matlab (3.1 percent), and R (2.8 percent). Swift (2.6 percent) ranked 11th in the PyPL index.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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