As a result of data traffic’s exponential growth, network is currently evolving from fixed circuit switched services to dynamic packet switched services, which has brought unprecedented changes to the existing transport infrastructure. It is generally agreed that automatic switched optical network (ASON) is one of the promising solutions for the next generation optical networks. In this paper, we present the results of our experimental tests and economic analysis on ASON. The intention of this paper is to present our perspective, in terms of evolution strategy toward ASON, on next generation optical networks. It is shown through experimental tests that the performance of current Pre-standard ASON enabled equipments satisfies the basic requirements of network operators and is ready for initial deployment. The results of the economic analysis show that network operators can be benefit from the deployment of ASON from three sides. Firstly, ASON can reduce the CAPEX for network expanding by integrating multiple ADM & DCS into one box. Secondly, ASON can reduce the OPEX for network operation by introducing automatic resource control scheme. Finally, ASON can increase margin revenue by providing new optical network services such as Bandwidth on Demand, optical VPN etc. Finally, the evolution strategy is proposed as our perspective toward next generation optical networks. We hope the evolution strategy introduced may be helpful for the network operators to gracefully migrate their fixed ring based legacy networks to next generation dynamic mesh based network.