Evans Data, an analyst firm based in sunny Santa Cruz, California, has completed their North American Development Survey for 2006. As part of the study, developer programming language use is measured and trended for C, C++, C#, Java, VB, VB.Net, and XML. The outcomes are a bit surprising and certainly not great news for Microsoft.This years' results show a "dramatic erosion" of support for Visual Basic and VB.NET. The study shows a drop off 35% for Visual Basic 6 and previous versions. And worse for Microsoft a measured decline of 26% for VB.NET. The most popular language according to the study is Java at 45% of the 430 developers surveyed, C/C++ at 40% and C# at 32%. "Microsoft has dominated languages since the early '90s, but we are seeing much more parity now," said John Andrews, president, Evans Data. Other interesting findings from Evans include their projection of a 46% growth between 2005 and 2009 in the worldwide developer population. They predict that the APAC region will overtake the EMEA region in 2007 as the home of more professional developers than any other area. By 2009 they expect four out of every ten developers to be found in this region -- an 81% increase from 2005, and as compared to just a 15% in North America for the same period. Reports can be purchased directly from the Evans Data website.