May 20 2008
Microsoft has been trying to make itself F/OSS friendly recently. From agreeing not to sue open source projects to working to provide a bridge between it’s proprietary source management system (TFS) and the much loved open source alternative SubVersion. Microsoft seems to be trying its best but still appears to be keeping open source at arms length.
The question is: is Microsoft ready to get into bed with open source itself. Enter Zend. Zend is an Israeli company that has grown up around the open source scripting engine PHP. Previously Microsoft announced that it would be working with Zend to provide better support for PHP under Windows Server.
In the last day or so it has become apparent that Zend is laying some of it’s staff. Erick Schonfeld has speculated that this may be to make Zend more attractive to a prospective purchaser. With Microsoft on the verge of finally to a deal to buy (some if not all) Yahoo, it may Zend may also look attractive if Microsoft is to continue supporting the applications that Yahoo has running on PHP.
There is also the long awaited dynamic language support for .Net. Maybe PHP could be leveraged to bring more hobbyist developers over to the .Net platform. Obviously there is the question of getting the .Net framework ported over to alternative operating systems, however Silverlight has demonstrated that they might not be adverse to that idea.
Of course, Oracle has also previously shown an interest in PHP and it would sit nicely alongside MySQL, which that previously purchased. And then there is IBM, who also seem to be embracing open source as their extensive use, distribution and support of Java show.