Chris Anderson has been exploring Python and states...
I've really come to the conclusion that Microsoft is missing the boat around dynamic languages and scripting in general.Agreed. And yet...
I think that scripting and many dynamic languages are in the same camp. They are great for small applications and writing glue code. Look at Google Maps, the real processing is on the server...Python and Ruby are fine languages. Miles ahead of most others. They work well in many situations.
Regardless of the limitations, our singular focus on strongly typed compiled languages has blinded us to the amazing productivity and approachability of dynamic scripting langauges like Python and Ruby.
Remember their most common implementations are relatively simple. Don't use them as the benchmark of where the performance can really go, and has been for some time, e.g. in Smalltalk, Common Lisp, and Scheme where more attention has been paid to efficient implementations.
Microsoft will be missing a huge opportunity if they settle for current Python and Ruby performance as their "scripting" language par. The first step toward this new consciousness would be to stop using the term "scripting". Call them "dynamic" or "agile" or something that does not connote just slow "glue".
Check out JP Morgan's KAPITAL system in Smalltalk. This is the engine, not the glue. Don't miss the boat.