I've tried three times now to write a reply that doesn't sound insulting . No offence is intended, it's just hard to have this discussion without raising eyebrows!
It's not that i'm a fan of Microsoft products, but I think you recommendation to "ditch expensive microsoft technologies" is possibly the worst advice i've ever heard (looking at it from a career front). I can only assume you've either:
a) never worked in a big software house
b) you're a *NIX lover and are of the belief that php/perl can achieve all you need in the web world.
Having witnessed both sides in the workplace, I understand arguments for and against, but i'd never recommend anyone to ditch one over the other completely.
Bottom line is: OP is still learning and he stands a much better chance of getting a job in this day and age if he can boast proficiency in a leading technology that's got a reputation for being good...
With different third party scripts, PHP can do almost everything (and i personally would use it any day over .NET).
RoR - I wouldn't touch. I tried it, it wasn't for me. It seems like most of the acts_as_ stuff people have made are sloppy and the creators didn't properly understand the framework when they made them. I'm not comfortable with it.
I've worked at/with three major software/web houses in UK and all of them made extensive use of .NET as well as OS. All staff had knowledge of MS technologies and went through MS exams, even if they only ever used PHP or HTML...
I don't think I could ever advise someone to ditch MS technology given the current market.
And this is a big however.
If you're only using it for personal projects and don't intend to work for a company that requires .NET skills, then go ahead and ditch the expensive MS technologies... PHP/RoR will be perfect and much much cheaper
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