Microsoft’s Open Source Progress and Its Relationship with WordPress

For years, Microsoft and open source have rarely been used in the same sentence. With new leadership, the company has made major strides in becoming part of the open source movement.

Late last year, the company announced its .NET server stack would be open source, enabling .NET to become a cross-platform framework. The company has placed thousands of open source repositories on its Github account. When asked if Windows could one day be open source, Mark Russinovich, one of Microsoft’s top engineers says, “It’s definitely possible, it’s a new Microsoft.” Microsoft even has a website that explains its strategy and showcases open source projects its involved with.

Microsoft Azure Teams Up with WordPress

MicrosoftAzureLogo

I initially noticed the company’s change in attitude towards open source in 2009 when Microsoft’s chief technology officer, Ray Ozzie, announced at the Professional Developers Conference that WordPress could be run using the Azure platform. Windows Azure is a cloud platform that enables you to build, deploy, and manage WordPress sites across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. In a post on the WordPress.com VIP blog, Matt Mullenweg explained why it’s a good move.

WordPress and Windows Azure probably aren’t the first two things you’d think of together. WordPress has been free and open source software from the very beginning, Windows not so much, but we’ve always supported as many platforms as possible and for at least 4 years now you could run WP on Windows and IIS (Internet Information Services).

Choice and competition are great for spurring innovation and better for users and I believe open source software is a good thing even if it’s on a proprietary platform. (Just like we have an open source iPhone application, or encourage people to use Firefox on Windows.)

Supporting the WordPress Community

Since 2009, Microsoft has sponsored several WordCamps, meetups, and WordPress specific events. I remember attending a WordCamp in 2010 sponsored by Microsoft and joking with attendees that it must be a mistake.

However, one of Microsoft’s representatives was in attendance and assured me that the company was changing its position on open source and sponsoring WordCamps was a good way to spread the message.

Examples of Microsoft Using WordPress

WebDevStudios, a company that specializes in web development using WordPress, has migrated several of Microsoft’s key websites to WordPress. In late 2014, Microsoft’s News Center re-launched on WordPress. The work involved a custom design and complex data migration from a proprietary CMS to WordPress, across 38 sites, in 16 different languages.

The new Microsoft News Center
The new Microsoft News Center

Around the same time, the company migrated Microsoft Europe to WordPress. Microsoft Europe focuses on Connected Lifestyles, What’s Next, Transforming Business, and Impact on Society for European countries.

The new Microsoft Europe
The new Microsoft Europe

The Microsoft Windows blog is a WordPress multisite network devoted to Windows and Internet Explorer topics. The blogs within the network are in multiple foreign languages that focus on content related to that region of the world.

Microsoft Blogs uses WordPress Multisite
Microsoft Blogs uses WordPress Multisite

The Last Laugh

It’s impressive to think how much Microsoft has changed to entertain the idea of open sourcing Windows. In 2007, when Mullenweg predicted that Microsoft will open source its software by 2017, I thought it was one of the funniest posts I’ve ever read. After witnessing the progress the company has made and continues to make, it’s possible he might have the last laugh.

8 Comments


  1. Gee… not a single comment.

    This sounds alot like what I have said in several posts.

    As a Windows developer I have fallen on the floor several times. When they put out the community editions of Visual Studio. Especially considering I spent $1499 on the Pro edition.

    Then along comes the open sourcing of .NET in support (it has been said) of Mono, .NET on Linux. Open source.

    Then there is Microsoft helping third party developers not only in code but locating financial resources for approved CONCEPTUAL applications. Astonishing.

    All these combined with what other bits I already knew all of a sudden has a pattern.

    A poster on another thread said, “You’ll never see WP ported to say C#”

    Again, I bet it does happen.

    In fact, it makes complete sense to do so and no sense not to.

    WP enjoys a BIG marketshare. That makes it ripe to target. The PHP technology that powers it is quickly lagging behind C#. Frameworks that exist for PHP result in even poorer performance. .NET is far more robust than any PHP framework and thus far more capable. For say WP to have a executable Windows Application to manage sites is a relatively simple task if .NET is used for WP itself. It moves to Enterprise ready out of the box.

    It IS possible since WP is linear and not slopped full of OOP code that may be hard to transition and uses “Hooks” to latch addons to still maintain compatibility with existing PHP code and also move to another paradigm of event driven code. Then eventually developers will move to the event driven model as they see the benefits thereof. Javascript growth has enabled ALOT more possibilities and maximizing those possibilities and more than likely even more javascript growth and abilities via “browsers” is the future. .NET/C# are at least at this point in time the only game in town that is really perfectly positioned. Thats not by chance nor is the open sourcing. Nor was the community editions of Visual Studio.

    Community editions released to get coders out there learning.

    .NET so as no matter the server platform (as Linux still outperforms MS Server) here sits the most powerful “Stack” going and atop that a development environment that is just WAY beyond anything most third party web coders are accustomed to. Visual Studio is an excellent IDE, try it, you will be overwhelmed at first and amazed shortly thereafter.

    The cloud is the future. That affords the do anything on any device anywhere on any smart device. Sorta like stepping back in time to industry. Used to be big mainframes with intelligent terminals and wires all over the place under rug protectors with 5 Megabyte hard drives the size of washing machines. Cobol! Yea! Oh slap!

    The text could go over a slower than snail snot token ring network. Mine? No. Mine? No. Mine? No.

    But a 300 BPS modem serving up a single web image of today? 24K byte small image, 300/8 mean throughput about 30 bytes a second, 820 seconds, only 13 minutes.

    My first modem was a 110/300 BPS “Volks Modem” (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Anchor-Volksmodem-Universal-Interface-for-Computer-Communication-by-Telephone-/121565680474)

    Point being, all this stuff is advancing us forward in the web technologies (granted in a very 40 years ago way! Whats old becomes new again? LOL). The cloud is akin to the mainframe. The intelligent terminal is akin to the smart device. The software, client/server.

    Windows will be online, already announced. There sits your “hub”.

    As I said “B4”. Microsoft did not buy Nokia either to sit last in mobile devices. They bought Nokia as when all this “unification gels” they have the #1 platform going NATIVE due to Windows Mobile. Just as Apple has enjoyed its “We have the iStuff”. Apple already dropped the ball with Android. Instead of offering iPhone 3’s or 4’s are cheap android phone prices they discontinued them.

    Oops.

    Now Android enjoys marketshare. Exact same “oops” they did with the original Mac’s.

    I am sure they will bang up their own unification stuff perhaps with Adobe and Oracle.

    But Windows Phone will be at least “In its time” the “New bestest thing to have”.

    I must admit. I have two Windows tablets by Nextbook I bought last Xmas. WallyMert had Windows Nextbooks. 10″ tablet, hi-res display, Windows 8 on sale half price at the time, $149.

    I called every local walmart and all sold out. Told em reserve one for me should more come in. Few days later local store got all of TWO. I got one. Employee got the other. I figured I’d not get one at all. So I ordered the smaller 7″ one online at Wallmert for like $79.

    So, now I have two.

    For the most part I LOVE them MUCH more so than any android Tab I’ve used. I dont like it as much as the iPad but its really quite different. The iPad is much more like a big iPhone with App’sies (with no phone in it? Duh. Same with Android tabs, Phone? Umm no” ARG!!!!

    The Nextbook is a portable Windows PC. The 10″ has a keyboard detachable.

    I can write WordPress code (I use PHPStorm, also have NuSphere several editions back) on the tablet. Save it to a windows share with Wamp or Xampp running on it, run chrome or MSIE or Firefox against it. All very nice. I recommend it.

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  2. Oh Oh….

    One more thing Mr, Chandler (Jeff).

    You said the magic word, “Progress”.

    Progress for technology advancement? Absolutely.

    Progress for you or me or many other “Indies”. Thats a hard row to hoe at this point in time.

    With the other factors (national / global) in respect to controls of populations capabilities within this technological sphere) the motives behind all of it may well not be so kickin’.

    Just as Wallmert has swallowed countless poor slobs of small businesses and quite a few sized ones I fear the same on the distant horizon for the InterNut.

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  3. All you have to say to understand why Microsoft is going this way is two words – Internet Explorer…
    the crappiest browser on the planet made by a company that has billions. Next is “Microsoft Word” but I am redundant.

    I worked in the Microsoft world for over ten years (classic asp then .net MVC and now have gone the way of open source, WordPress, php and Ruby. Why would you want to port over WordPress to .Net/C# is beyond me. Learn a little php! If you want to read a great book about this subject, read http://www.amazon.com/Success-Open-Source-Steven-Weber/dp/0674018583

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  4. Actually WP was already ported .NET by Phalcon as an example in Version 3.0 It runs about 300% faster.

    I dont love or hate Microsoft or Amazon or PHP or WP. But I also dont stay blind to what’s happening or opportunities thereof. MSIE or shall I say the Browser Object is in many ways worse that say Firefox or Chrome. But at the sametime the Object also sits in support of an operating system which the others do not.

    I do know PHP, I cant say I am an expert at it. I am fare more versed in C#, C++ to be sure.

    I dumped ASP.NET in version 2.0 of it while doing sites and extensions for With DotNetNuke.

    Its was simply a bloated cow when it came to web apps. Now Microsoft has shifted gears from those old days. Now its all about tomorrow and not today as is the case with Adobe, Google, Amazon and others including Oracle. Ruby I looked into w/ Rails a time back, didnt do much for me.

    I was happy with PHP at the time. I’ve never liked the language in comparison to C++ or C# and in Windows applications used to a considerably better IDE environment. But I’ve lived with it.

    Many PHP coders are already jumping ship to .NET due to Mono, I know of 6 now local to me as of last week. Thats basically 30% of PHP coders I know locally.

    PHP should have stuck with its roots of what its growth was. Linear, fast and on course as the task of a markup preprocessor. The moment they added OOP into the mix its performance started shooting downhill.

    Symfony is perhaps the most amazing framework for PHP. Its really excellent code. But its performance due to PHP is just plain horrible. Yet, its probably the best framework out there for PHP. It pales in comparison to .NET but thats not a surprise. .NET was not made as a web application only framework, it supports everything from Windows to Mobile app’s, Web apps, client server apps, enterprise levels, scalability etc.

    The big boost PHP coders have been asking for now for years has not come, multiple threads.
    Every server on the planet runs multi-core CPU’s and most multiple CPU’s w/ Multiple cores. That would afford some great performance increases for those of us that understand how to use threads.

    But, its been years and years now and not come.

    As I said, I dont personally pick at this or that. I’ve been a developer for 35 years (now 52). I remember coding games that had to fit in 8K bytes of Rom cartridge in assembler all night long.

    Mono will open up gobs of PHP programmers into .NET as now they have the platform (linux) .vs MS IIs to still “freelance” and open completely new generations of applications that are event driven.

    Just as linear code died on Apple’s, PC’s same same with the Net. Event driven code is a much more predictable and enjoyable way to develop. Even on the Net. No way you say?

    jQuery proves it. Its the #1 javascript library out there because its Event driven. Otherwise, why bother? There is nothing that cant be done with Javascript .vs jQuery and many libraries took care of the growing more scant by the year browser differences. jQuery took off like a storm because of its event driven model for the Internet.

    Thats the future as really its the only way to do device independence in unity across any smart devices.

    In applications such as Word, Excel, MS Access I’ve never liked them per se. I dont hate much anything. I loved what Lotus had done in fact. Lotus Word, 1-2-3, Approach Database. Was fantastic with a user interface that was phenomenal. But that waned.

    I am not a MS fanboy. I am not a WP or Joomla or C++ or C# or PHP fanboy. Fanboy’s come and go. Over 35 years most I have saw go. Few days back a Mac tribesman was over spilling all over me about how we ought use Mac’s instead of PC’s for development. What?

    I fired up my Core i7 game system which basically gathers dust well and Windows popped up in about 7 seconds. SSD drives in it (I got 12 samsung SSD 240GB drives for $60 each) and three sit in the game box. So he say’s, “That was fast” I told him. SSD drive. I launch VMware and it loads up Mac OS/x. I get out of my chair and say “Go ahead”.

    Its faster than his Mac and for whats on it, I’ve yet to find anything that doesnt work not that I use it much.

    He’s a “C++” coder.

    I fired up Visual Studio, sat him in front of it. Made coffee and some snackies. Took maybe 10-15 minutes. I come back he says, “How do I compile this into an executable”. In 15 minutes he wrote a Windows form application. Nothing spectacular of course. I asked him “What do you think?” He said, “This is amazing”.

    So I sat down and showed him some of the stuff we’d been working on, a BIG project for the web. He was pretty much floored. I showed him some of the codebase and he said, “Nothing like this environment out there on the Mac”. I already knew that. I said to him, “Thats why we dont have Mac’s”

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  5. Microsoft’s been good to us in Boston. They host our monthly meetups for free at the Microsoft NERD Center, and we’ve even had WordCamp Boston there before. The NERD Center is a pretty integral part of the Boston tech scene.

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  6. I attended that WordCamp in Boston. In fact, I still have my scarf which they gave away as swag. The NERD center is cool and definitely a nice venue for a WordCamp.

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  7. One thing that still confuses me about Microsoft’s approach to open source is where IDEs are concerned. Visual Studio is their flagship development environment, they charge money for it, but it doesn’t support PHP.

    On the other hand, they make WebMatrix, give it away for free, and it supports PHP. Weird!

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    1. Visual has community editions, academic editions, standard, pro, team, ultimate editions. It is made to support any .NET language. There are 3P PHP extensions for it. But there are also one’s for Cobol and a pluther of other languages.

      Visual Studio is an excellent IDE, best I have ever used by quite some margin as it should be given its been around for near 20 years now. It lends itself far better to .NET development so why would they integrate PHP? MSIL is the target. One of the neat things about MSIL and the CLR is that its language independent. One can write code in C#, Visual Basic or any pluther of third party languages from Fortran to Cobol and inbetween that support MSIL.

      Microsoft’s goal is not to be 110% support of PHP. They already have the language, performance and platform to put it asunder. This is not a “We have completely turned around” corporation. They are the same corporation they have always been as is Adobe, as is Apple as is Amazon as is Oracle. They see what has become a considerable market and that is the target from a business aspect. Hence, Open Source. Infiltrate and defeat.

      Adobe’s new cloud platform of the Creative Suite is to be paired with a drag and drop online publishing system. I’ve not spoken with anyone who directly has had access to it. I have spoke to people (my brother) who says he knows two people who have and its just unreal.

      Again, should be no surprise. Lots of folks are using Web.com, Wix, WordPress, Joomla, this and that to create these sites with all forms of mixin / mashup capabilities in as far as functions go. Only a matter of When not IF the big boys jump in and via numbers of scale offer “CMS++” services that are cheap and better.

      Google is perhaps the entity that had always had the least transition. Always for years siding on the side of “Open everything”. As many have noticed they too are shifting gears. They have to. Thats business.

      Web Matrix stands alone for a reason. Its not weird at all when you look at corporate goals. In fact in their advertising as I recall it even says, “Cant we all just get along” and has like a puzzle piece of ASP.NET and PHP. Dont know if its still there. They are not going to tightly bind say PHP into Visual Studio only to deprecate it 3-5 years down the road. Web Matrix is all about the same focus as MONO. Get PHP developers in open source to use MS products. Once using Microsoft products it affords Microsoft the ability to grab them into Microsoft goals in that open source/PHP market.

      They never did this before.

      Why?

      Because ASP.NET was simply not capable of competing with PHP more or less Java. It was a resource cow and a slow one at that albeit even in ASP.NET 2.0 a cow that can be an enterprise cow if the farmer has enough money.

      Now thats not the case anymore. ASP.NET paired with C# or Visual Basic is faster and less resource hungry (in most repsects) than PHP. MONO embraces the LinuxTribe. WPDotNet a Phalanger port of WordPress 3.0 now three years? back showed a 300%+ performance improvement and is 100% PHP, theme, plugin compatible.

      If you have used C# at all then you know as a programmer and just being completely impartial that with Visual Studio its just so much nicer to code in that say PHP and more versatile.

      Its taken Microsoft 10+ years to get to where the development platform for ASP.NET is. Now they are moving to complete that.

      Who knows, they may come along with a PHP.NET full blown solution. But either way, that spells the end of what people have enjoyed per se. I am rather surprised they have not.

      Web Matrix sorta shows that they dont want the flagship to have any tight coupling.

      They sorta can do as they please as they have the money to do it and the resources in as far as software engineers to do it.

      But for people who think “Look they completely have changed their stripes” thats just silly.

      They are an Omni Aggressive corporation who now has the platform, the means, the skills and even governmental support to change what the Internet was to what it will be.

      Alot of people forget that not TOO awful long ago nations across the globe in partnership with Microsoft announced the largest geosync satellite network for the Net the world had ever known. Was like 170 some odd satellites all with the goal of regulation of the net. Paid for in full by global governance. All fell off the radar as that not the way to “do it”. The way to do it is mulch-faceted but it starts with control of the software industries online. And thats exactly what we have saw happen and escalate.

      NOW (and I do mean like NOW) all of a sudden a resurgence in Satellite Internet starts up.

      Contrary to common believe global governments are not dumb. In fact, quite the opposite. Populations believe what they see and hear and then make judgements based upon it. Truth is we (especially in the west) are given so little information in popular news our judgements are like guiding 3 year olds. Literally. We are too lazy to seek more information and our media is now corporate business.

      Globalization is a #1 goal and has been. This has resulted in the upheaval we see this very day in many areas. With globalization comes how to control it. The Internet is one of the prime focuses thereof. Cant control populations if cant control information.

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