Speaking at LeWeb London last week, Microsoft platform evangelist Tim O’Brien described how the company is changing to become more supportive of open-source standards and tools and non-Microsoft technology. That’s a change the developer community will welcome.
So, why the change? Back in the ripped-jeans heyday of grunge (AKA the nineties – but you already know that. I hope) Microsoft was known for its overbearing behaviour. Says Tim, “We’d tell developers to abandon old tools in favour of new tools.” Not cool.
I think Microsoft has realised it needs to be realistic about the world of development. This is a world of multiple platforms and tools. The days of saying ‘I’m [solely] a Windows person’ – or Oracle or Java person – are over. Today’s developer relies on a mixed bag of skills. If the 90s were about grunge, in 21C it’s all about the hip-hop mash-up.
Tim’s message was, rather than dictating the terms, Microsoft is now committed to enabling developers to use their existing skill-sets to develop for the next generation of platforms. That’s exciting news indeed.