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Why would MS support PHP?

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Subject:Why would MS support PHP?
Summary:Is Microsoft really friend or foe to the PHP community?
Author:Scott Deagan
Date:2009-10-19 15:55:21
Update:2009-10-19 20:09:12

  1. Why would MS support PHP?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Scott Deagan Scott Deagan - 2009-10-19 16:25:46
After reading your article, "misdirection" is the first word that springs to mind. Microsoft are a corporate global giant that doesn't have an altruistic bone or sentiment throughout it's entire corporate hierarchy. Has the history of Microsoft's business practices taught us nothing? And what the hell is the story with Steve Ballmer? Is that guy on drugs?

Microsoft's objectives are painfully obvious. More and more fantastic Open Source PHP projects (that mostly run on a LAMP stack) are being released year on year - it's an unstoppable phenomenon. Microsoft would simply like to siphon off some of this success and capture a larger share of the Internet's web server market. But how does one compete with great products that are totally free and have proved their worth over the years? By trying to lure the competent engineers that use these OSS products over to Microsoft products!

Although I am a heeee-uge advocate of Open Source Software, I am also a .NET developer (one has to be pragmatic). Recently I was unfortunate enough to find myself seeking employment as the company I worked for fell victim to the economic crisis. While there were more opportunities in the .NET world, I found that more people were applying for these roles - indicating an over-supply of .NET candidates. I also found that the salary packages for .NET roles were actually less than those for comparable LAMP roles I applied for - which is why I settled for a LAMP role in the end (that pays 15K a year more than the highest paying .NET role I was able to secure an interview for). This is just my personal experience. Perhaps my skill-set (which includes a few years of Scala) and experience, couple with sheer luck, were determining factors.

While I strongly agree that developers should diversify their skill-sets as much as possible and always keep an eye out for what's just around the corner, I am somewhat confused at you purporting that Microsoft is benefiting the PHP community and "promoting the careers of PHP professionals" - especially in the long term.

It is the humble opinion of this developer that the only thing Microsoft is promoting is itself.

  2. Re: Why would MS support PHP?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2009-10-19 16:40:30 - In reply to message 1 from Scott Deagan
You have to be rational. Emotional reactions against Microsoft will not help anybody.

Of course Microsoft is acting in self interest. Nobody thought otherwise. It is clearly written in the article. They want PHP developers to develop PHP applications on Windows. There is nothing wrong with that, on contrary, they are fostering their platform ecosystem by embracing a larger community.

PHP developers also use PHP on self-interest. They want to make money developing with a language that they know well.

Microsoft is promising to developers that join WebsiteSpark that they will seek better paid jobs for them and customers to purchase their PHP applications. More business to those that want to pay more money.

It is in the interest of Microsoft making this work. Otherwise PHP developers will drop them for other jobs that pay better.

It is a chance that it is up to each one to decide whether its worth it. If you do not want to join because you have anything against Microsoft, that is OK, nobody will be upset.

  3. Re: Why would MS support PHP?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Scott Deagan Scott Deagan - 2009-10-19 19:59:56 - In reply to message 2 from Manuel Lemos
Thank you for your reply Manuel. I actually don't have anything "against" Microsoft per se, and I try not to get emotional when discussing such topics, but sometimes I just can't help myself (and I apologize).

Coming from a DOS, then Win16, then Win32 background - Microsoft has been my "bread and butter" so to speak, so I am grateful to them for creating an industry that has kept me employed for a couple of decades (I still write Win32 executables for clients).

I think what really annoys me about this promotion is the metaphorical "better paid jobs" carrot. Using PHP on Windows will somehow result in better paid jobs (sorry - will result in developers "seeking" better paid jobs)? Call me "slow off the mark", but I just can't see the correlation between developing PHP apps on Windows resulting in higher paid jobs. If anything, I would have thought the opposite would be the case - that those who are Linux savvy and develop PHP apps on Linux would be paid more.

I fully agree that the more support there is for PHP, the better it is for the PHP community at large. From what I have seen of WebsiteSpark, there isn't anything really PHP specific being offered to PHP developers - other than a few example projects.

Yes, you're right, nobody will be upset if you don't join the WebsiteSpark program... unless you become the next Mark Zuckerberg and develop "the next big thing" on a LAMP stack ;)

  4. Re: Why would MS support PHP?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2009-10-19 20:09:12 - In reply to message 3 from Scott Deagan
That is because the two main initiatives of the program did not start yet. Those are the marketplace, which is a site where your PHP applications will be exposed for Microsoft customers to purchase, and the Partner Solution Profiler PHP professionals push out.

If you have PHP applications to sell, you can sell them in Marketplace when it is launched in a few weeks.

If you just want to provide consulting, Microsoft will be launching initiatives that create demand for PHP professionals that joined the WebsiteSpark program.

As for jobs be better paid, I don't know how it is where you live, but most places I know, more than often people that prefer Open Source software do it because they do not want to spend money in licenses, so they are less interested in spending money.

Businesses that prefer Microsoft products do not care so much about paying licenses because they have plenty of money. So they are more likely pay better salaries.

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