Open Microsoft

The last years, since the appearance of blogs and until today, when we have a new computing product type that virtually no one considered as a probable success a few time ago – the tablet – besides smart phones, we’ve been part of a revolution. Some call it Web 2.0 but it’s more than that.

As a traditional software developer on Microsoft platform, starting from Visual Basic 6 and Visual C++ before Visual Studio, and continuing with J++ and later C# and .NET, Windows Forms, and lately, WPF, temporarily Silverlight, and now WinRT and HTML5+JavaScript for the user interface programming, I see a big change in this picture too, one that again, very few, if any, expected ten years ago:

Microsoft business has really opened up.

Just some examples to get the idea:

  • Many projects of Microsoft are now open source based to receive community improvements since very early design;
  • Microsoft Accounts (previously aka Live accounts or .NET Passport accounts) and Skype can now be linked to external services, such as Facebook, for example;
  • Visual Studio has recently got NuGet support; NuGet is an external way to bring component packages to projects, which was really missing in the original architecture of the development environment;
  • Azure virtual machines can also run Linux;
  • The new Share “charm” of Windows RT/8 OS is beautifully open as an interface that any developer may easily implement in custom apps, while the openness started by Microsoft account integration also;
  • WinRT app development can be based on HTML5 and JavaScript which enables true cross-platform design and development, allowing developing apps once for, virtually, all type of devices;
  • Internet Explorer 10 runs Adobe Flash based sites without requiring a plug in, which is great again on Windows RT (although Microsoft’s own competitor platform – Silverlight – didn’t get this privilege).

Microsoft is changing from a software provider to a device producer and service integrator.

I believe that for the long run it’s a good thing that Microsoft has chosen this path, especially as after mobile hardware producing would get cheaper in the future, software selling can only work successfully – and as much as possible – in conjunction with hardware integration (as Google offers its Android OS for free and has got a big percent of the market with that already). Going into the competition is great for all of us, and this time Microsoft also changed its morals, apparently: there are no more “Netscape” wars to come, in my opinion.


About Sorin Dolha

My passion is software development, but I also like physics.
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