Microsoft Novell

I’ve been busy working on the CDT integration with the Windows SDK and, at the moment the Windows debug engine, to support C++ development using this SDK as a choice over cygwin/mingw for Windows development. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m keen on getting Eclipse and the CDT in a state where it can be useful for Windows developers and open up a whole new community to this great thing we’ve got going with Eclipse.

Taking a break from debugging the debugger yesterday, I tripped over a Slashdot article that said there was going to be a press conference webcast at 5 p.m. EST announcing a partnership between Microsoft and Novell on Linux. After checking the calendar to mare sure it wasn’t April 1, I tuned in. Watching the proceedings, I got that feeling I was watching history, like when Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement. Time will tell whether Microsoft entering the Linux/open source world will change anything, but today, it looks pretty significant.

What was clear was that it is more like Microsoft grudgingly admitting Linux is important with its customers, than Microsoft throwing in the towel. But I think that is an important admission that will change how the open source world views Microsoft and, more importantly, how the Microsoft world views open source and Linux in particular.

Which brings me back to my Windows SDK integration. One of the visions we had for the CDT in the early days, was for the CDT to be the cross platform development environment that eases the transition for Windows developers who want to start working on Linux apps. It was great in theory, but the demand didn’t really materialize (and neither did the community). Time will tell whether this announcement changes that. But in the meantime, it has given me a little extra energy to try and make sure the Windows SDK integration happens for both C++ and C# (Mono may have been given a boost with this also) to at least make the path easier to follow.