Leaving Google: I'm going to evangelize Java and Open Source at Microsoft

Posted by pat 163 days ago

What a better way to celebrate my birthday (yes I'm an april fool) than this special announcement?

Evangelizing the AdWords API at Google was a blast, but I could not pass up this offer: Microsoft finally gets it and I want to be part of this adventure!

They approached me last week their Mix06 conference with their super secret shocking project and that was too good to be true: they're shedding .NET and their proprietary licensing model, and switch to Java, Linux and Open Source! And they asked me to evangelize the products that come out of this new group.

Now I understand why Scoble wouldn't talk to me during the conference: he was preparing his own move to Google!

I'll be part of the Java Open Source Team at Microsoft, and won't be alone: believe me their recruitment team have done their homework! Many of my friends from the Open Source Get Together Paris announced that they all join at the same time: Ludovic Dubost, Jérémi Joslin, Vincent Massol, François Le Droff, Didier Girard..

Compared to the puny Open Source contributions that Google have made, what Microsoft plans to contribute in the next few years (it'll take me some time to get used to their way of announcing products a few years before they actually ship in order to lock the market:-) is staggering:

  • Windows will be open sourced for whomever wants to maintain it. Microsoft has not interest in the codebase anymore since they switch to Linux (they'll buy Red Hat to get some folks to train their developers) for all their products. The Windows codebase will live in the subversion servers of the Computer History Museum in Moutain View... where they belong.
  • a complete rewrite (they like total rewrite, it keeps developers busy) of Visual Studio.NET on top of Eclipse (Eric Gamma is the new architect for the Visual Studio team)
  • They're going to announce they buy Sun next week, in order to be able to open source the Java VM under the GPL. A nice side effect is that Jonathan Schwartz will take Scoble's position as chief blogger.
  • Scrap the .NET CLR and replace it with the Java VM.
  • XAML is discontinued. Instead extensions to XUL and SVG will be proposed to the relevant standards body.
  • More generally Microsoft will now use only standard data formats, and all their data will be open for external services to use them. They hired Marc Canter to lead their open data division.
  • The IE team will drop their current codebase and start contributing to FireFox.
  • The Office team is reassigned to Open Office.
  • All their enterprise software will be replaced by a stack of open source java servers that will be developed under the auspices of the Apache Foundation.

Chris, Bret, when do you join us? We have plenty of open reqs in the developer evangelism group!

What makes all these changes possible? All these software will ship for free, but with ads served by Microsoft AdCenter. It's unfortunate that end users will have to provide a thick binder of data describing themselves before being able to use the software, so that AdCenter can target them a bit better, but I'm sure they won't mind:-)

It seems there's a bit of shuffling in the industry today: Matt and Jeremy are switching places at Yahoo and Google.

I loook forward to get started at work, and ditch my faithful Mac PowerBook for a nice Origami running Microsoft Linux!


  1. Antonio Da Cruz said 5 days later:
    Hi Pat ! Great !!!! It took me a few seconds to see it is an April Fish ! HaHaHa !! But who knows may be in 20 years your predictions will be carried out ... For the moment, I attended April 06Th a Microsoft Architect Seminar in Paris (France), WPF & WPF/E seems nice. It's what I am looking for years ago to build the new HMIs of the futur. Flash will have a hard competitor with WPF & WPF/E... And for me Java Swing are too poor... May be an open source contribution could change things ... Keep sending news.
  2. P@ said 8 days later:
    Thanks Antonio, yes WPF/WPFE are nice... nice and proprietary:-)
  3. Linuz said 38 days later:
    Hi P@ ! Nice one !! I think Microsoft (it is soft coz its fatty) should shread that old fatty RAM and diskspace eating windows into a big shreader.


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  1. From François Le Droff's Weblog
    Nouveau/new job
    I couldn't resist. I'm heading for new adventures within Microsoft. OK, I hear your laughter : " You ? and what for ? you're gonna tune Jboss apps over there ?" Well no, but almost, with a bunch of new hires , we'll be tackling a big challenge, port

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