Well, NetBeansIDE 7.3 is out with plenty of new features, tremendous performance improvements.
In addition to the great support for Java/JavaEE technologies, NetBeansIDE 7.3 comes with decent support for HTML5, Groovy, PHP, C++ as well. If you are skeptic with older versions of NetBeans like 5.x and never again look at NetBeansIDE, I would strongly suggest you to take a look at latest NeaBeans releases specifically 6.9.x on wards.
However, I wish NetBeans should have following features which greatly increases its adoption:
1. NetBeansIDE as a zipped bundle:
You may ask how does it matters?!!. Think about the enthusiastic developers in so called Big MNCs without having Admin privileges to install any new software.
If the company is using other IDEs and the developer wants to show to his team mates how NetBeans is better than the existing IDE, he can’t because he himself can’t install NetBeans on his machine. If the developer rise a ticket to install NetBeans 7.3 then he may also have to give a reason why he need that software. If he give reason as “I want to show how NetBeansIDE is better than our current IDE and motivate the team to move to NetBeans” then chances for rejecting the ticket is High 🙂
So IMHO, being able to download, extract and use will definitely increase its adoption.
PS: We can get NetBeansIDE as OS Independent Zip. Plz see the comments.
2. Support for latest Application Server Adapters:
When I first realized that NetBeans 7.x also doesn’t have support for JBoss AS 6/7 I was really surprised. And when I heard that NetBeansIDE 7.3 comes with JBoss AS support I was very happy and wanted to hookup my JBossAS7 with NetBeansIDE 7.3. But when I came to know that NetBeans 7.3 supports JBoss 5.x only for now, I was really surprised why NB team spent time on providing support for older JBoss version.
After expressing this concern on Twitter(@sivalabs), Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) replied to my tweet saying support for JBoss AS7 is on the way and probabily comes in-built with next release of NetBeans.
3. More plugins support:
Lets be honest and say Eclipse has rich plugin support compared to NetBeans. Of course you can say quantity is not matter, quality matters and its true 🙂
Sometimes I do weird things like creating a JavaEE project, generating Entities from Database Tables, creating REST Endpoints in NetBeans and import the code into Eclipse and work with it. I do like this because GOD knows when Eclipse’s JBoss Tool plugin works properly 🙂 Anyway, NetBeans needs more plugins support.