In my recent post on the “The Road to Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET 4.5,” I shared my thoughts on some key industry trends that have influenced our most recent wave of development tools. 

One such trend is represented by the order of magnitude increase in the number of people developing software.  The proliferation of digital devices, the transformation to cloud computing, and the advent of app stores to provide reach and monetization opportunity for software developers all contribute to this increase.  With such a surge, and with the breadth of app types being built, it’s no wonder that the number of choices developers have for languages, libraries, and frameworks has also increased significantly.

We continue to invest heavily in .NET.  Much of the work we’ve done in .NET 4.5 has been focused on making .NET a premier developer environment in which to build server-side applications and services (for example, with the scalability capabilities afforded by the new async/await support in C# and Visual Basic).  .NET will continue to grow as a great choice for developers building cloud-based systems.  At the same time, we fully recognize that the world is larger than .NET, and we want developers to be successful using Windows Azure regardless of the development technologies upon which they rely.

In that light, we are continuing on our roadmap of embracing popular Open Source Software (OSS) tools and working collaboratively with the open source community to build together a better cloud that supports all developers and their needs for interoperable solutions.  Developers want to use the tools that best fit their experiences, their skills, and their application requirements; our goal is to enable that choice.  We continue to be committed to providing an experience where developers can build applications on Windows Azure using the languages and frameworks they already know, and to making it easier to get started and to use cloud computing on their own terms.

Hopefully, this focus has been evident in much of the recent work that’s been done to reflect Windows Azure openness. For example, there are now SDKs available for working with Windows Azure from .NET, Node.js, Java, and PHP.  There’s a developer preview available for using Apache Hadoop on Windows Azure.  We’ve been working closely with 10Gen and the MongoDB community to provide MongoDB database integration for Windows Azure, including deployment packaging, documentation, and code samples.  There’s an updated Eclipse plug-in for Java developers to work with Windows Azure, including support for remote Java debugging.  There’s configuration guidance and documentation available for using Solr with Windows Azure.  There are Windows Azure Toolkits available not only for Windows Phone and Windows 8, but also for Android and iOS.  And the majority of these projects, and others like Python Tools for Visual Studio, are available under open source licenses. Even from an IDE perspective, Team Explorer Everywhere supports developers accessing Team Foundation Server from Eclipse-based environments running on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX.

This only scratches the surface of the interoperability and openness work we’re doing for the cloud. In fact, just two weeks ago we announced a new subsidiary known as Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., to advance the company’s investment in openness.  As we said at that time, Microsoft and our individual business groups will continue to engage with the open source and standards communities in a variety of ways, including working directly with many open source foundations and standards organizations. Today, MS Open Tech released a new version of the Redis port to Windows, providing, among other improvements, better performance over the version released in February. Additionally, today I’m excited to announce the release of a Metro style theme for jQuery Mobile, which enables Web sites and HTML5-based mobile application to use the Metro style.

You can expect us to continue doing more here over time.