Microsoft, OpenLogic Further Open-Source Efforts

Microsoft delivers the beta of a download manager and packaged open-source applications to make it easier for Web developers to install Web products. The move follows Microsoft's support for an Eclipse Foundation project related to Silverlight and precedes sponsorship of the Government Open Source Conference. GOSCON will take place in Portland, Ore. Meanwhile, OpenLogic announces a slew of professional services to help companies interested in trying open-source software during the economic downturn.

Microsoft and OpenLogic both made moves Oct. 15 to further their open-source initiatives, with Microsoft releasing new software for Web developers and OpenLogic announcing new professional services to help companies increase their usage of open-source software.

Microsoft delivered the beta of a download manager and packaged open-source applications to make it easier for Web developers to install Web products and tools for building next-generation Web applications. The new software from Microsoft includes Web PI (Web Platform Installer), a free download manager that simplifies the installation of Microsoft's development tools, from .NET Framework 3.5 to ASP.NET to Silverlight, for building Web applications.

Microsoft also announced the delivery of its Web AI (Web App Installer), which it said is a Web application gallery that manages the setup, configuration and acquisition of various popular ASP.NET and PHP open-source Web applications and provides guidance for developers building applications that run well and scale in both hosted and cloud environments. Applications in this gallery include WordPress, Drupal, phpBB, DotNetNuke and Graffiti, as well as several other popular open-source applications.

Web PI and Web AI will be available at, Microsoft's online community for Web professionals, where developers can easily access Microsoft's Web technologies, resources and best practices for building advanced Web applications, the company said.

This news follows Microsoft's announcement on Oct. 13 that the company is funding an Eclipse Foundation project related to Microsoft's Silverlight RIA (rich Internet application) platform.

In a blog post on Microsoft's latest Eclipse-related venture, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said, "Microsoft is funding our member company Soyatec to develop Eclipse tools for Silverlight. This project is not only building development tools for Silverlight, it is also focused on easing the integration of Java-based Web sites and services with Silverlight applications."

Milinkovich said conversations he has had with Microsoft employees "lead me to believe that at least some people at Microsoft 'get it' when it comes to open source. They are looking to open source as a path to increase their revenue and drive incremental customer value by making more of their stack interoperable with other technologies. It's not about ideology; it's about making good business and technical decisions. We at the Eclipse Foundation are thrilled to have Microsoft supporting open-source projects here."

Microsoft also is sponsoring GOSCON (the Government Open Source Conference) in Portland, Ore., Oct. 20 to 23. In a blog post about Microsoft's participation in the event, Bryan Kirschner, director of open-source strategy at Microsoft, said, "Success for our team is not about controlling all things open source at Microsoft. Rather, it's about encouraging, enabling, and advising (if they need it) others across Microsoft on how to constructively engage with open source..."

Meanwhile, OpenLogic, a provider of enterprise open-source software solutions encompassing hundreds of open-source packages, on Oct. 15 announced several new professional services packages, ranging from one-day to one-week engagements, that help companies identify, fine-tune and implement enterprise-ready open-source products. OpenLogic officials said they believe these services become more strategic in times of economic turmoil.

"In these difficult economic times, companies are looking to cut costs, while ensuring quick payback with any new technology," said Kim Weins, OpenLogic's senior vice president of marketing. "Open source is a natural consideration that can save companies money, but many companies need help with open-source selection, migration and tuning," she said.

For more information on OpenLogic's new services packages, including pricing and availability, go here.