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.NET market penetration (can I use it)?

Got a contract with a financial planner to write and app that he'll sell to his clients.  He's also planning on making it available to download on his site.  I'd love to write this in C#, but there's that whole adoption issue.  Does anybody know what the current market penetration is?  I'm assuming requiring a 20+ meg download is still in bad form?

the real apprentice
Thursday, January 22, 2004

If the client of a financial planner is sending people to a website to download a program, then he must be assuming some level of web savvy.  Wouldn't it be safe to assume those same people would have windows updates automatically keep their computer up to date, thus already having the .NET framework?

Or, maybe he could monitor the user agent from the people visiting his site and see if they have the framework installed.  That should give you a heads up concerning the number of adopters.

nathan
Thursday, January 22, 2004

"If the client of a financial planner is sending people to a website to download a program, then he must be assuming some level of web savvy."

Perhaps from the downloaders, but it sounds like that is just one form of distribution (and more likely it'd be in some high-pressure "buy my financial planning application..." situations in the office). Perhaps I'm stereotyping incorrectly, but I would guess that the general financial planner customer base would be of below to far-below average computing skills, and hence would need the absolute minimum hassle possible, not to mention that there is a latent base of millions of Windows 95 (i.e. non-.NET capable) machines out there (don't let the google Zeitgeist graphs fool you, as they are not an equal distribution of all computer users).

It sounds like a Delphi or Visual Basic candidate to me. Indeed, I would also guess that the percentage of mac owners is higher among financial planner patrons (venn diagram anyone?), so perhaps wxWindows and a cross platform C++ app would be your best bet. :-)

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Is there a site online that monitors the number of User Agents displaying that they support .Net framework?

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, January 22, 2004

If there were such a site it would still be essentially useless... The only percentage that's important to you is that for YOUR target market. You would need to do the same kind of monitoring of your targets, perhaps at your site. On the plus side, that's not very difficult to do. 

Andrew Cherry
Thursday, January 22, 2004

C# doesn't necessarily mean client download.

Do you have anything against ASP.Net?  If you are able to get a download on your server, I'm assuming you'd be able to get other files there?

It's really nice to develop against ASP.Net and there are no dependencies and no downloads.

It all depends on what kind of app you're developing whether this is acceptable or not.

Rick Watson
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Yeah, I was thinking about ASP.NET.  The download option is still not firm, as a lot of web stuff would have to take place (right now it's just a static hosted site).  He was actually leaning more towards just handing out a CD, which would make the penetration point moot. 

the real apprentice
Thursday, January 22, 2004

when you will release it? one year from now or tomorrow?

do you got % of the sales? or it's just a work for you? if your client agrees on .net then do it, and don't care about his clients.

if your system won't be in the $25-$100 range, if people want to use it they will download .net as well.


Thursday, January 22, 2004

If your client agrees to use .NET, even though you believe it will create a lousy product for THEM, then you are not doing your job. What does your client know about software? They are paying YOU to create a software solution for them. If .NET is not the appropriate tool for their solution, then you should not use it. I think that would be unethical.

The crux seems to be the web downloads. If you just shipped CDs, then you could include the .NET installer within your app's installer. If the clients have enough bandwidth to download your app, maybe they wouldn't mind downloading your app installer that bundled the 20 MB .NET installer.

runtime
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Will the client's customers be downloading a TRIAL version or a purchased version?

I.e., WHO is downloading : Potential customers (who've not purchased yet) or actual customers.

If it's potential customers, I'd avoid .net : the download hassle could turn off potential customers. (I assume you want HIM to make money so he can pay YOU do write  more software or maintain this.

If customers are downloading  it ONLY after purchase, the download size is probably irrelevent if you just offer a CD install version.  You can get 1,000 CDs made for under $800.00.  S & H charges will cover that.

The real Entrepreneur
Thursday, January 22, 2004

My girlfriend works for a big accountancy firm and I can tell you that she doesn't have the .NET framework.

Going by the current SOE, I wouldn't expect to see it for a few years. They moved to Windows 2000 about a year ago, and only the critical patches have been installed since.

Rhys Keepence
Thursday, January 22, 2004

I know of huge companies that swears by Netscape 4.7, and Office 97. This is not news. Like someone said earlier in the thread, you'll have to watch who your target audience is, and ask yourself how much are you willing to sacrifice in terms of market share. Maybe the next 5 years won't pan out for .Net, then write it in the latest and greatest Visual C++ and see if you can get anywhere with that, don't want to maintain all that C++? You can always go Delphi if you can't stand VB. Otherwise VB never hurt anyone.

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Sure, target audience and that sort of thing ... we all agree.
But don't forget about productivity. If .NET allows you to get the same result with half the resources, then there are ways this can translate into customer benefits (lower cost, faster cycle, more features, more security,...). These benefits might way offset the hassles of having to possibly install/download the runtime.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, January 23, 2004

In my experience, CONVENIENCE is pretty important to paying customers.

Now, perhaps you could use the $$ saved by increased productivity to send out free CDs.  Good way to collect customer information.  (I.e., a targeted customer list might be worth $10 or more per name to your company or (if you're less than ethical) someone else's company.

(I would never sell customer info, even if we had no privacy policy. But we're successful. If were were NOT successful I might stoop to that in order to feed my family of 5 :-)

The real Entrepreneur
Friday, January 23, 2004

Note that the .net libraries are in Windows Update.  Anyone who regularly updates, or has automatic updates enabled, will get the .net stuff.

Junkster
Friday, January 23, 2004

Since the .NET runtime is under "Recommended" I don't think it is included in automatic updates.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, January 23, 2004

ASP.NET it is!

the real apprentice
Friday, January 23, 2004

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