Microsoft Working with Eclipse

The software vendor will work with the Eclipse Foundation on interoperability issues.

LAS VEGAS-Microsoft continues to show its openness.

At a panel at the MIX conference here March 6, Sam Ramji, director of open source and strategy at Microsoft, said that in addition to many recent overtures the company has made toward greater interoperability and support for open-source projects, Microsoft also is working with the Eclipse Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation.

"We're working with Eclipse and I'll be announcing more about that in the next few weeks," Ramji told eWEEK.

Ramji said he has been talking with Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich over the last year to hammer out exactly how the two organizations would work together.

Visual Studio and Eclipse are the two leading application development environments, and any kind of integration or interoperability exchange between the two could be a boon for developers.

Ramji is scheduled to keynote the EclipseCon conference for Eclipse developers March 19 in Santa Clara, Calif. Ramji declined to give more details on the interaction Microsoft has had with Eclipse, but said he would share more during his EclipseCon keynote.

Eclipse officials refused to comment on their relationship with Microsoft.

To read more about Microsoft's promises of a move toward greater openness and interoperability, click here.

The MIX panel Ramji spoke at was entitled "The Open Question." Panelists were Miguel de Icaza, vice president of developer platform at Novell; Andi Gutmans, co-founder and chief technology officer of Zend Technologies; Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering at Mozilla; and Rob Conery, an engineer on the ASP.Net team at Microsoft.

The panelists gave Microsoft kudos for its moves toward greater transparency and openness.

"Microsoft has made huge progress in the last year or two," Gutmans said. "Microsoft is seeing the value in community. There's a whole level of openness going through Microsoft. I commend them."

"I think the industry's come a long way and Microsoft has definitely made progress," Schroepfer said. "But the game isn't over yet. There's a lot more to go."

De Icaza said it is easy to work with Microsoft at the grassroots level, noting that Microsoft would do well to take a page from one of his favorite books, Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Conery said he hopes to see better dialogue between Microsoft and the open-source community at large.

"It's like trying to get back with an old girlfriend-warring for so long and then getting back and having a dialogue," Conery said.