Culture

Eclipse coaxing developers away from Windows Vista?

Eclipse Foundation appears to be trying to pull developers away from Microsoft's Windows Vista.

The Eclipse Foundation has released an updated roadmap, one that recognizes Windows current importance, but also sees Windows Vista as an opportunity to nudge developers to the Eclipse platform, potentially away from Microsoft's Vista:

Approximately 85% of Eclipse download requests are for the Windows OS. With the Vista release there are a number of efforts to port Windows applications. This presents an opportunity for organizations who will take the opportunity to migrate to the more ubiquitous and portable Eclipse platform. In order to leverage the opportunity as much as Vista, it is essential that relevant Eclipse projects support and leverage VISTA. For example, Avalon APIs need to be implemented in SWT [Eclipse Standard Widget Toolkit].

As The Register's Gavin Clarke suggests, "SWT potentially lets applications run on Linux, Mac OS X, and different versions of Windows," and so broadens Eclipse's appeal (especially for Rich Internet Applications), while potentially diminishing Vista's.

Microsoft, of course, has started working with Eclipse to make Eclipse a "first-class platform on Vista." It's too soon to tell if Eclipse will succeed in its apparent attempt to downplay Vista as a development platform, but it's interesting to see this interplay between coopetition and competition going on between allegedly neutral Eclipse and allegedly not-so-neutral Microsoft.