Added: Interview with marc hoffman, Chief Architect at Remobjects on Bitwise Magazine.
After five years of several solutions and directions, it looks like Delphi for .NET has finally found a good home.
Although Delphi .NET only exists for only about four years, there have been a lot of changes in the strategy executed by Borland, Borland/CodeGear and now Embarcadero. So let's take a brief look at the Delphi for .NET history:
2004 - Delphi 8 (Borland)
Delphi for .NET is born for the .NET Framework version 1.1. Delphi for .NET is positioned as a first class .NET citizen. It offers .NET 1.1 development for Winforms, ASP.NET and VCL.NET, which is the .NET variant of the VCL, offering a highly compatible framework based on .NET.
2005 - Delphi 2005 (Borland)
Delphi 2005 offers the same as Delphi 8 but Delphi 2005 has a lot improvements in quality.
2006 - Delphi 2006 (Borland)
Delphi 2006 still has support for the .NET Framework 1.1 (Winforms, ASP.NET and VCL.NET) Delphi 2006 offers a stable IDE for this developments. The fact that it does not support .NET 2.0 shows the trouble that Borland had to keep up with Microsoft.
2007 - Delphi 2007 (CodeGear/Borland)
Delphi 2007 finally supports .NET 2.0, but unfortunately the Winforms support is dropped. (Only ASP.NET and VCL.NET is supported)
2008 - Delphi 2008 (Embarcadero)
Delphi 2009 has become a Visual Studio Plugin based on Oxygene (formely known as Chrome) offering support for all available Microsoft .NET technology's (2.0, 3.0, 3.5))
Unfortunately it looks like VCL.NET is dropped.
It is not likely that the Delphi for .NET product strategy will be nominated for best executed product strategy ever.
However this is a very strong sign of the new spirit that Embarcadero is bringing to Delphi. It proofs that the buyout by Embarcadero is the best thing that happened to Delphi (and of course CodeGear) in the last five years.
Back to Delphi Prism:
Delphi Prism the pros
1. Instant support for all Microsoft .NET technologies.
2. The Delphi language is now at same level as C#, VB.NET, so the choice for the Delphi language can be made much easier. (Hack it is the same IDE)
3. Delphi for Win32 can focus on Win32 again, will not be hold back by .NET technologies.
Delphi Prism the cons
1. Less compatibilty with Delphi Win32 technologies, due to pure .NET and languages changes/additions. (Compared to VCL-VCL.NET, VCL-Winforms)
2. After Winforms, now VCL.NET dropped, and that will not please every body.
All with all the pros weigh more than the cons in my opinion.
Why use Delphi Prism?
This question is not answered easily. I think a lot of Delphi developers went for C# in the last four years. For example we decided in 2007 to standarize our .NET development on Visual Studio C# due to the dropping of Winforms in Delphi 2007 (Basicaly due to the mixed/confusing messages by Borland).
Although we don't know all the ins and outs yet (sure will hear a lot more the coming week) this is by far the best thing ever that happened to Delphi for .NET.