Open and Extensible

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a set of broad-reaching changes to Microsoft’s technology and business practices to increase the openness of its products and drive greater interoperability, opportunity and choice.


As much as some of us dream of a world where all the computing systems are homogeneous, the world has been, is, and will be running heterogeneous systems and services.  To best provide for our customers in this heterogeneous world, and deliver the most value possible, I recognize that we need to bring even more openness and extensibility into the heart of our products.  We know that no single company can address interoperability challenges on its own and that collaboration with customers, partners and other vendors is of critical importance.  


Last year we set up a customer advisory council consisting mainly of Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers of large enterprises and government departments from around the world to engage in a two-way dialog on how we can interoperate better with various systems.


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with this group and share some of my thoughts on interoperability within Developer Division tools and platforms.  I talked about a number of initiatives that came out of DevDiv to support interoperability this year.  One of the areas that I spoke about was Silverlight and the very nature of this being a cross-platform, cross-browser, cross-device runtime.  One of the ways we are achieving that is by working with others in the community and the industry, such as Moonlight to help bring Silverlight to Linux, and our work with Nokia to bring Silverlight to Symbian and other device platforms.  I also talked about the work we are doing in releasing the XAML documentation for WPF under the Open Specification Promise – this is the most open and liberal way to license this technology.  So far there have been over 2200 downloads of this documentation which is great!  It tells me that people find this useful and so I’m glad we did it.  Also for the .NET Framework, we released the .NET Framework source code to our Visual Studio customers to help them in debugging their .NET applications. 


We see Visual Studio itself as a tools platform and so we have focused on our VSIP partners and the work they want to do on top of Visual Studio.  Both Visual Studio and Visual Studio Team System are, at the core, a development environment which is an open, extensible platform that developers can target for any platform and third parties can build on to deliver even more value.  I talked to the council about the removal of licensing restrictions for Visual Studio that now allows developers to build plug-ins that target any platform.  Another announcement we made this year was that we opened up our Visual Studio IDE source code for our Premier VSIP partners to access. I also spoke about Visual Studio’s contributions to the ECMA standards for languages. 


As you can see, we have made a lot of progress knowing fully there is more work that we need to do to become more open and extensible and continue to deliver the most value we can to our customers.



Comments (9)

  1. B says:

    The way I see it, VS is great. Interoperability is needed, but it’s not the focus that MS needs right now.

    Visual studio 2008 is probably the best quality product that MS makes. Even though it has bugs, they are few and I see them being fixed. But VS is nowhere without the OS. This is where MS needs to refocus.

    Quality and reliability are sorely needed. The last 5 years have been horrible, beginning with Vista and continuing this with the awful performance of Office 2007. Outlook with BCM actually crashes, *crashes* no less than 4 times per day for each of our employees (we would migrate to something else but we’re stuck in BCM). This is just not acceptable today and needs to be fixed.

    Our faith in MS is with Visual Studio, since we’re developers. But it’s the last product left that’s good.

    I really, honestly, couldn’t ever fathom the day that we’d jump ship from Microsoft and it saddens me that I’m even writing this article. Our company is starting to purchase Macs at our office just to get our work done (they run Vista better, but that’s 80% hardware, still there’s a 20% improvment).

    Please, MS, do what you did with VS 2008 on the OS and Office. Go back and just do a single release where everything is fixed.

  2. Sean Echevarria says:

    How about opening up Visual Studio Express editions to VSIP/VSX extensibility?

  3. Andrew Webb says:

    Advertising on your blog?!  Why?  I don’t see it on other MSDN blogger’s sites.

    I come to your blog to get the definitive, official announcements about upcoming development stuff – the beta of SP1 for VS08 and .NET 3.5, for example.  Somehow having advertising seems to cheapen the experience, and makes it less official.  It’s a sad day to see advertising here.  The blog’s official and definitive status has been compromised.

    Surely Microsoft doesn’t need the money.

    My advice: get rid of the advertising asap.

  4. MegP_MS says:

    B – I’m sorry to hear that you are facing issues with Outlook/BCM. Can you please contact us at the following address: – so we can get in touch with you and help you with these issues?

  5. Somasegar says:


    Thanks for the note.  It definitely isn’t for the money and in fact whatever little money happens goes directly to a charitable organization.


  6. Mark Gordon says:


    Why not release the visual foxpro source code  (and plz dont embarass yourself and bring up sedna that is not even worth the effort) … Better yet sell FoxPro and visual basic to another vendor so we can have a real choice in development tools. This might also give you some creditability… Until then this is all smoke and mirror nonsensical ramblings ! Microsoft is only concerned about profit, otherwise M$FT would not have to pay billions to the EU… MONOPOLIES SUCK !!!


  7. Andrew Webb says:


    Thanks for the reply.  If the advertising only generates a "little money", could not you (and/or DevDiv as an entity) donate to charity directly, quietly, without having the advertising?

    The advertising makes it more difficult to read your blog, especially when the eye is being distracted by the  animated Flash stuff.  You must know what it’s like from your own web surfing.  Technical blog entries and flashing eye candy trash don’t mix.

    Also: you’re a senior and respected member of the Microsoft developer team.  Your blog statements are definitive.  Ergo your impartiality must be beyond reproach (which I’m sure it is), but as importantly the PERCEPTION of your impartiality must be beyond reproach.

    I type this while trying to ignore a flashing advert for Aspose’s components… not a very pleasant experience.


  8. [原文地址]: Open and Extensible [原文发表时间]:Tuesday, May 20, 2008 2:42 PM 今年早期, Microsoft 宣布了 一系列范围广泛的改动。这些改动针对