C# challenges Java in language popularity

Microsoft’s C# language is creeping up on Java in the Tiobe index of language popularity, a trend that could see C# surpassing Java soon.

The difference between fourth-ranked Java, with an 8.92% rating, and fifth-ranked C#, with 7.71%, was just about 1.2 percentage points in the just-published Tiobe index for October 2023. Software quality services company Tiobe anticipates that C# will surpass Java in a couple months under current trends. Java had long held the top spot in the index until being overtaken by C, Python, and C++ in recent years.

Object-oriented, type-safe C# and Java, famous for offering portability via the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), have been used in similar domains and thus have been competitors for two decades now, Tiobe said. Tiobe cited Oracle’s introduction of a paid license model for Oracle Java as one reason for Java’s decline.

Microsoft took the opposite approach, making C# free and open source, Tiobe said. Further, Java must also deal with Kotlin, a fully compatible direct competitor on the JVM that is easier to use and free of charge, along with Java not having changed much in recent years, Tiobe said. Nevertheless Java remains a critical language in enterprise computing, with Java 21 just released last month and Java 22 due next March. And free open source binaries of Java still are available via OpenJDK.

Tiobe’s index is based on a formula that assesses language popularity by tallying the number of skilled engineers, courses, and third-party vendors pertinent to each language, based on results in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

The top 10 for the Tiobe index for October 2023:

  1. Python, 14.82%
  2. C, 12.08%
  3. C++, 10.67%
  4. Java, 8.92%
  5. C#, 7.71%
  6. JavaScript, 2.91%
  7. Visual Basic, 2.13%
  8. PHP, 1.9%
  9. SQL, 1.78%
  10. Assembly, 1.64%

The alternative Pypl Popularity of Programming Language index assesses searches on language tutorials in Google. The top 10 for the Pypl index of October 2023:

  1. Python, with a 28.05% share
  2. Java, 15.88%
  3. JavaScript, 9.27%
  4. C#, 6.79%
  5. C/C++, 6.59%
  6. PHP, 4.86%
  7. R, 4.45%
  8. TypeScript, 2.93%
  9. Swift, 2.69%
  10. Objective-C, 2.29%

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.


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