It's a lot of Java based, multi-platform, software that uses these 'prefixes' for configuration files, that are hidden by default on *nix OS's. Maven is the one that comes to mind immediately; have a look in your C:\Users\<username> directory. Being a developer, you'll likely find a few .-prefixed files there. And others create even .-prefixed directories holding even more user-specific stuff, I found .netbeans, .eclipse, .virtualbox, .google, to name just a few.
General consensus is to not use them for common user-files. And Windows Explorer really hates them anyway.