Microsoft is the largest software developer and recently it has started a new service call WebMatrix. It is a very useful tool for web developers. As per Microsoft reports, it will make using these tools easier by simplifying the integration of various services, coding and databases.
Now the question is why developers need these services. Apporv Durga, an analyst with Real Story Group told us that this service offers key benefits for Microsoft. It can be used as a support for SharePoint which had some problems with public facing websites. There are also other issues like Microsoft also wanted to gain some good will in the open source community and they also wanted to target an important SMB agent. There are also other comments like consultant Rob Rose asserted same thoughts like Durga. He told that this new initiative from Microsoft has a great utility from the market development perspective. He also added that what the Microsoft is doing is same as others and to meet the market demands of open source tools.
But some of them also was not so much impressed. As Tony White, principle and founder at Ars Logica, a content management consultancy, sees a different perspective. According to him Microsoft is just replicating what IBM has done in the past with open source tools, but at the same time he also thinks that they are doing it not that well. Explaining the issue he added that Microsoft also wanted same kind of success that IBM has had with similar open source efforts. But the main difference between Microsoft and IBM is the less flexible approach by Microsoft to integrating with open source CMS projects. IBM is better as it always wraps these integrations with a distinctive, proprietary, value-added layer. Therefore, what customers see is the value of IBM on the outside, along with a quality assurance that IBM has taken good care of the underlying technology.
He thinks that they will not get the same value. For Microsoft’s product he explains that they are inflexible at the integration layer and are also forcing open source projects to get their standards. With this step, open source benefits disappear at the first level. He is also adding the less proprietary value-added layer on the outside. Because of this, customers will not get the type of offer from Microsoft open source as they do get from IBM open source.
Apoorv Durga also warns that this product is still in its early days and users can opt for other products as this is an untested and unsupported product. Microsoft shows an interesting approach through WebMatrix, but it will be interesting to see whether this product clicks with the developers and open source users.