Richard Hamblen, Microsoft's developer tools marketing manager, said C# is the result of the evolution of the language C through C++ and will not be taking on the "write once, run anywhere" approach of Java.
The new language will dovetail with Microsoft's recently announced .net platform. It is geared towards developing applications for the Internet and will offer XML integration features.
Neil Macdonald, vice-president and research director at Gartner, said he expected Microsoft to drop support of its Visual J++ as C# becomes established. He added that he saw C# as an attempt by Microsoft to stop Visual Basic developers moving to Java.
"It will have the capabilities of Java without moving from Microsoft," Macdonald said. "Although Java has a significant momentum, there are a core set of developers who will follow Microsoft."