Microsoft’s Open Source Strategic Intentions

Today on UK Microsoft helps fuel growth " has contributed several projects to the site, including , a Web-based tool; the , a series of templates designed to simplify the writing of Windows programs; and , a set of tools used to build installation packages for Windows products. These tools have attracted combined downloads of more than 21,000 in the past 60 days, according to . "

Microsoft has contributed to the community three products until today with the following intentions:

1) The Windows Template Library – Microsoft's WTL Off to Open Source – "He said the goals of the shared source initiative are to support existing customers, encourage new development, push academic research and provide business opportunities for Microsoft s. As for whether s might see more Microsoft code on SourceForge in the future, the hints are clear." – It seems as if Microsoft understood that today in order to continue their the past of that was mainly based on releasing s does not cut it anymore. Developers today want a better control on the future of their product in the same level accustomed by the open source world where is available. This move can shift other vendors to embrace an open strategy regarding revealing their source code.

Still, the WTL provides only a glimpse into the source code of the platform and only a vertical openness that goes down from the application level to the underlying will achieve real trust in accelerating development of commercial products.

2) release – FlexWiki: Microsoft's Third Open Software Project – "FlexWiki was originally named , and was created by . Ornstein is currently a lead program manager with Microsoft's " – This move acknowledges MS commitment to represent data in XML structure and will enable them an easier entrance into in the future. MS pitches , which is built on an underlying XML data representation and the more "production" XML-based documents out there the more effective .Net will be together with an integrated enterprise document rights/assets management.
Update: See See Microsoft adding XML files to Office 12 .

3) Windows XML Microsoft Releases Source Code on SourceForge – In this release a rationale was not provided by MS spokesman and I can just speculate. An XML installer whether adopted by mainstream developers will enable a completion of .Net vision and could be a convenient entry point to deliver solutions – a nice extension to server.

This may be a sign for many future releases of selective code base by Microsoft and it should be perceived by developers as if it is an MS API release.

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