This morning I noticed the article Scoble wrote concerning the MS vs. Adobe Death Match And my first thought was that it concerned the PDF brawl they were having, but it actually concerned Dreamweaver vs. Visual Studio 5. I followed the link and had a look at some of the videos, which are somewhat laughable when you hear somebody talking about standards support especially when that person is from the company that brought us this “wonderfull standards compliant browser”. But alas, that is marketing speak and normally you should take this lightly.
What I totally didn’t understand is why they where pitching these two programs. Would I ever think of using VS to build an html only website, or one concerning PHP, Java or Coldfusion? I don’t think so. But on the other side would I ever think of using Dreamweaver for building ASP.NET pages, no of course not. You use the tools that fit best. When i did some playing around with C# and ASP.NET, i used VS, though i had Dreamweaver around. For the plain old HTML website, Dreamweaver was always a no brainer. Did I need to do something in CSS, I happily use Topstyle, because it just does what it needs to do.
But when i need to build something in PHP, i just tend to grab whatever is available, it might be Dreamweaver, Bluefish, or the plain ol editor because frankly, i just need to edit the file. When i need to build something in Java, do i grab VS of course not, i look around and take one of the java editors available to get the work done.
And frankly i think MS is barking up the wrong tree, they shouldn’t be worried about Dreamweaver, what they should worry about is the ecosystem that has been slowly building around eclipse and in lesser part Netbeans. These IDE’s are increasingly becoming jack of al trades, a developer used to Dreamweaver probably might still venture towards VS when the need arises, but most eclipse developers will have enough compelling and convincing reasons to stay in their environment, ditching ASP.NET for J2EE, Ruby on Rails, Laszlo, AJAX, PHP and of course Macromedia Flex.
I would think that this is far more dangerous for Microsofts and it’s platform than Dreamweaver.