January 07, 2013, 7:45 AM — Microsoft's C# has been crowned the number one programming language of the year by the PopularitY of Programming Language (PYPL) index.
Although Java is still the most widely used programming language in the world, C#'s popularity grew by 2.3% in 2012 - more than any other programming language during the same period. The growth of C# is thought to come at the expense of C and Visual Basic.
Java had a 28.3% developer share in 2012, even though its usage went down 0.3%. PHP, whose market share was down 1.6% to 15.4%, was the second most popular. C# and C++ came in joint third, each with a 10.5% share.
According to Nat Friedman, CEO of cross-platform app creation platform Xamarin, the launch of Windows 8 has played an important role in the growth of C# in 2012. C# remains the dominant language of third-party application development on Windows devices.
However, other features such as asynchronous programming, garbage collection, type safety and the ability to execute applications quickly have all contributed to the popularityof C# among mobile developers. The potability of C# is also key, according to Friedman.
"Between Windows, iOS and Android, your C# code can run on over 2.2 billion devices. And beyond mobile, C# is highly portable in a wide range of environments across the spectrum of mobile, embedded, desktop, and server computing," he said in a blog post.
The results of the PYPL index conflict with those of the better known TIOBE Programming Community Index, which ranks language popularity based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors.