Apples and Oranges or Fruit Salad? A Look at Open Source Versus Commercial Platform Strategies

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Apples and Oranges or Fruit Salad? A Look at Open Source Versus Commercial Platform Strategies (VSX111)

Speaker: Tim Wagner (Principal Development Lead, Microsoft)
The speaker, a former Eclipse Web Tool Platform Project lead now working with the Microsoft Visual Studio Platform team, takes a look at the differences and (surprising) similarities of the Eclipse platform strategy and that of Visual Studio. The talk examines licensing and pricing models and how choices for the platform affect both end user adoption and add-in provider opportunities. Deep focus by the Eclipse Foundation on enabling add-in providers through EPIC and other mechanisms bears a strong similarity to the way large commercial vendors such as Microsoft build partner programs, including marketing support, lead generation, and other conventional business activities. Recent changes by the Visual Studio Ecosystem team to make the platform easier to extend and adopt are clearly informed by success in the open source world and are evolving to look increasingly like it. We will also examine membership pricing and look at the impact different membership classes (such as Strategic Developers in Eclipse and Premier Partners in Visual Studio) affect the course of the platform and its tools. Finally, we'll take a brief look at innovation drivers and rates of change in an attempt to answer the question of how (and whether) open versus commercial development affects the evolution of the underlying platform.



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