Ballmer Interview on Enterprise Tools

Hats off to Daryl Taft from e-Week for his interview with Steve Ballmer on Enterprise Tools. This is one of the few interviews I have seen that probes Ballmer on the developer tools market.

In the article, Ballmer acknowledges that Eclipse is the main competitor for Microsoft in the tools area. I think everyone agrees there are two main platforms: Eclipse and Visual Studio.

I did find it interesting that he discounts Eclipse on Windows. Indicating that our momentum is on non-Windows platform: ‘There’s certainly some momentum, at least among the non-Windows platforms building around Eclipse.’ Not sure if I agree with this. A great majority of our downloads are for the Windows version.

In fact, I think a lot of developers are using Eclipse and Visual Studio side-by-side. It is a heterogeneous world and developers need to develop for .Net and Java. If you ask me, a C# and .Net IDE would do really well at Eclipse. 🙂

3 Responses to Ballmer Interview on Enterprise Tools

  1. Wayne says:

    Maybe he was referring to deployment platforms. Sure, a heafty number of our downloads are for the Windows version of Eclipse, but in my experience, a lot of the folks who use Eclipse for development on Windows are deploying their enterprise systems to other platforms (Linux, UNIX, Z, …)

  2. Paul Rogers says:

    I’ve used both Eclipse and VS .NET (C#) for large projects. Eclipse is SO much better: refactoring, go-to-definition, where-used, incremental compilation and other nitty-gritty features. MS makes it easy to use their new technologies, but MUCH harder to do the day-to-day grunt work of working with code.

    This is the difference between a tool by & for developers (Eclipse) and one that is driven by the need to push a vendor’s technologies.

    I hear VS 2005 is better; we’ll have to see.

  3. Ian Skerrett says:


    I think you have hit the nail on the head. Eclipse is very much a bottom-up approach for the developer.


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