Microsoft Spins Visual Studio Live for Developers

Updated: The software company is investigating how to apply its software-as-a-service strategy to developers' needs.

Microsoft Corp. has begun to take a serious look at how its software-as-a-service strategy can be applied to its developer business.

Last week Microsoft moved one of its emerging developer tools strategy thinkers, John Montgomery, from a marketing role, and assigned him to the job of helping to figure out just how the software giant should proceed in this space.

Montgomerys job will be to focus on how Microsoft can bring the vision of its Windows Live and Office Live offerings to help developers.

In a blog post Tuesday, Montgomery said the project he is working on goes by the code name Tuscany. Otherwise, "wed all start calling it Visual Studio Live, which it may or may not be," he said. However, the Apache Software Foundation also has a Web services-related project known as Tuscany.

S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of the developer division at Microsoft, said, "John Montgomery, who was most recently in developer marketing, is now a program manager on my team, thinking about what we should be doing in the Developer Division to support the Live world."

In November, Microsoft rolled out plans to create Windows Live and Office Live, software-as-a-service add-ons to Windows and Office, respectively. Since that time, Microsoft has fielded a number of Windows Live beta deliverables. A first beta of Office Live is expected to be imminent.

In a blog post from last week, Somasegar said, "A couple of months ago we announced two new Internet-based services from Microsoft—Windows Live and Office Live. These services demonstrate how software is evolving through the power of services. Now, what do these services mean for the developer community?"

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about new services being considered for Windows Live.

Somasegar said there are two things he is thinking about in this regard: "A set of services that we want to provide which will make it easy for developers to develop applications and services using VS [Visual Studio]" and "Support for features in Visual Studio that makes it a great set of development tools for developers to be able to build and consume services."

In a blog post of his own, John Montgomery said his new role is to "help define what a Live version of Visual Studio might look like. If you think about Office Live and Windows Live, you can see that Live is coming together to mean software that is smarter when its online and back-ended by a set of services. I think most developers get this concept intuitively—that software can (and should) be better when its online."

And with that, Montgomery put out a call for developers to provide suggestions for what they would like to see Microsoft do.

Next Page: What developers want from "Live."