Microsoft Scores First Down with jQuery JavaScript Library

By adopting the open-source jQuery JavaScript library, Microsoft adds a passing first down to its plodding open-source ground game. Microsoft has scored a solid first down with its move to adopt the open-source jQuery JavaScript library and include it in upcoming versions of its Visual Studio tool set.

In an interview with eWEEK over the summer, Sam Ramji, senior director of platform strategy and open-source point man at Microsoft, said Microsoft was in the early stages of its support for open-source technology. He likened Microsoft's open-source support to being on its own 30-yard line in a football game. He said he was not ashamed of having to run a ground game and settle for gains of two to three yards at a clip. However, the move to support jQuery is a pass play. A pass from my Ravens rookie QB to tight end Todd Heap for a solid 10-yard gain, or better yet, a slant pattern pass from the Cowboys' Tony Romo to Terrell "T.O." Owens (too bad they lost today to the 'Skins).

Supporting jQuery is a good move for Microsoft, so good that the company decided to share the news even before its Professional Developers Conference, which is coming up in less than a month, rather than save it and have it get lost in the crush of information that is expected to come out of the PDC.

Lauren Cooney, who works in the Web Platform & Standards group in Microsoft's Developer Division, said the move signals more to come for Microsoft. Indeed, Microsoft hired Cooney, who was formerly with IBM Software Group's emerging technologies division, as one of a growing group of people aimed at helping to expand Microsoft's outreach to different -- read: open source -- communities.

"From the developer standpoint, developers get the full power of jQuery -- combined with the rich IntelliSense when creating ASP.NET applications in Visual Studio -- as well as official Microsoft product support for jQuery when used from an ASP.NET application," Cooney told eWEEK.

Moreover, Cooney said:

""Microsoft and the ASP.NET team are very committed to jQuery and will even be contributing new features and bug fixes based on the needs of the community. I'm really excited about this, and it's a step in a great direction that shows that Microsoft is truly committed to listening and responding to community requests, and supporting the development community overall.""

The jQuery Web site says jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating and Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) interactions for rapid Web development. "jQuery is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript," the jQuery Web page said.