And here's the clincher: I noticed (and confirmed this with a recruiter
friend) that Windows API programmers here in New York City who know C++ and
COM programming earn about $130,000 a year, while typical Web programmers
using managed code languages (Java, PHP, Perl, even ASP.NET) earn about
$80,000 a year. That's a huge difference, and when I talked to some friends
from Microsoft Consulting Services about this they admitted that Microsoft
had lost a whole generation of developers. The reason it takes $130,000 to
hire someone with COM experience is because nobody bothered learning COM
programming in the last eight years or so, so you have to find somebody
really senior, usually they're already in management, and convince them to
take a job as a grunt programmer, dealing with (God help me) marshalling
and monikers and apartment threading and aggregates and tearoffs and a
million other things that, basically, only Don Box ever understood, and
even Don Box can't bear to look at them any more.
"How Microsoft Lost the API War"