Microsoft could have just used java
The recent Google-Oracle case shows us that Microsoft didn't HAVE to invent a new language to compete with Sun.
They could have made their own clean-room java implementation and spared us all from a look-alike language that's clearly just a knee-jerk reaction.
But NO they took the Sun implementation and violated the contract, and used it as a pretense to take us developers on a wild and useless ride.
They had problems with java for sure, but they could have submitted proposals and developed solutuions to fix the problems, just like everyone else did.
They weren't interested in helping developers, they used C# as a weapon against java.