C# certainly borrowed (aka stole) from java, which in turn was a
response to perceived weaknesses in C/C++. Ruby has roots in Smalltalk,
Perl, and C. Even Fortran is object oriented now! The corss-pollination
is normal, and just helps us as developers.

If you are willing to be tied to a single platform, I don't think there
is anything intrinscally wrong with C#. Its a reasonalbe language, and
as you say, its growing.  I can't think of any reason why I would
develop a Windows application in Java - in a pure Windows environment,
..NET beats it hands down. Ruby is great - but I'm not likely to create
a thick client in TCL/TK. (I'm keeping issues about whether I LIKE M$
out of it - just looking at things from a pure productivity
standpoint).

The very thing that makes .NET unpallatable to some is what makes it
compelling to others - it has a giant company behind it that can throw
developers at it at will, so it is not going away. My gut feel is that
Ruby / Rails is at a critical point where it may have enough momentum
to be a real competitor, but it will still face resistance just because
there is not (to my knowledege...) a corporate entity that is actively
promoting and supporting it.

All that said, Ruby is the first language I've come across in a very
long time that actually gets me excited about programming. As somebody
said (maybe Dave Thomas?), it just feels right. In particular, Rails is
incredible from a productivity standpoint, but is it truly enterprise
ready? I think so, but it may be a hard sell.

Keith