Microsoft Joining Eclipse?
But does that mean Microsoft will go as far as to join Eclipse? Is that even necessary? Of course, Milinkovich and company would love to have Microsoft join the Eclipse fold. Eclipse membership brings with it revenue to the organization as well as talent to support and create new Eclipse projects. Associate members must contribute $5,000 a year to the organization, Solution members contribute up to $20,000 per year, Enterprise Members contribute $125,000 per year, and Strategic Developer Members contribute up to $250,000 a year and must provide at least eight developers assigned full time to developing Eclipse technology. So having Microsoft as a member would be an obvious boon to the Eclipse Foundation, as well as major open source/Java "street cred" for Microsoft.Indeed, Milinkovich added, "Microsoft has made some modest investments in Eclipse. For example, they support Eclipse-based tools for the PHP support in Azure. They plan on basing their Java tools for Azure on Eclipse as well. They have been also working with Mik Kersten and his team at Tasktop to provide incremental improvements in the Eclipse IDE support of new features in Windows 7. But despite many years now of trying to work constructively with Microsoft, I cannot say that we have made any progress in having them become members of the Eclipse Foundation, or contributing directly to Eclipse community projects. Overall, Srivastava told eWEEK of Microsoft's plans to make Java and Eclipse first-class on Windows Azure: "We will do whatever is needed to make that happen. We will help Eclipse build Eclipse for Azure." And to be truly successful as a PAAS (platform-as-a-service) cloud platform, Microsoft needs to make Java first-class on Windows Azure. As Srivastava said, a major portion of the developer world is using Java and they do not want to change. "We want to make it as easy for a Java developer to develop and deploy their apps on Windows Azure as it is for a Visual Studio developer," he said. Good thing, too, because Microsoft would be blind not to see VMware cooking up a potentially potent Java cloud story with its SpringSource division providing tooling for the 2.5 million developers that use the Spring Framework. Meanwhile, Microsoft's move ensures that the software giant will enable Java developers, which account for about half of the world's professional developers, to more easily and effectively build and deploy apps on Windows Azure.
But joining Eclipse is not a requirement for Microsoft to better "Eclipsize" its platform. For instance, Microsoft is working with Tasktop Technologies and its high-flying Java/Eclipse-backing CEO Mik Kersten to bring Eclipse support to Windows 7. And Kersten, who is creator of the Eclipse Mylyn Project, could have a hand in deepening Microsoft's support for Eclipse on Windows Azure.