Node is now a first class citizen in the Microsoft Azure cloud environment alongside .Net, Java and PHP. This integration is the logical consequence of Microsoft’s involvement in the development of Node a year ago. Originally only available on Unix platforms (Linux, OSX, …), Node version 5 was mainly dedicated to porting the engine to Windows without impacting the performance of the Unix version.

It is clear that performance has not actually deteriorated. As an indication, our time series generator developed for EDF has doubled its performance between version 0.4.11 and version 0.6.1, mainly thanks to the upgrade of the Google V8 engine.

But back to Microsoft. The news is major. Personally, I am not interested in the possibility of coding on Windows, a platform that I flee like the plague since a good dozen years. But many programmers are. We must not neglect the importance of these who are legion. Some are Microsoft for love, others were imposed to use Windows by their company. In addition to professional developers, there is also a large amount of Sunday hackers who happily hack their websites, handling with more or less brilliant HTML, CSS and … Javascript after downloading a version of WordPress, Drupal or PrestaShop. Writing server side code was for them synonymous of learning a new language, most often PHP. We can safely anticipate that some of these will have more ease to manipulate Javascript which is already a Web technologies they might know a bit. Compared to WAMP, I found the Node environment to be much easier to install. No web server to configure and, with NPM, an ultra simple module manager.

The presence of Node alongside .Net, Java and PHP is flattering. Think about it, Node is only 2 years old. Next to it are the senior of the Web that is PHP, the corporate language that is Java and Microsoft child that is .Net shaped from Java. Nothing else, Python, Ruby, Erlang, Go, Perl, … This presence is also synonymous with 3 things:

  • Node is a mature platform. Its engine Google V8 is the foundation of the browser of the same name. It is installed by 200 million users, making it the second browser in terms of popularity after Microsoft Explorer.

  • Node has a large ecosystem. The popularity of Node in recent months is not just on GitHub, becoming the second most popular project on GitHub in front of Ruby on Rails, but also by a wide choice of modules.

  • Node is promised a bright future in both the Web community and the corporate world.