More changes at Redmond this week – after making up with Sun over Java, Microsoft have made their first ever open source contribution.
Yesterday they posted the source code to their Windows Installer XML (WiX) package (a tool for developers building Windows installers from XML source code), to SourceForge. They included complete source for the compiler, linker, library tool and decompiler.
Contributer Rob Mensching said in his posting “With this release developers outside Microsoft can take advantage of the same toolset being used today to create the installation packages for products like Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server, and many others.”
He went on to add in his MSDN blog: “Back in 1999 and 2000, I did not feel that many people inside Microsoft understood what the Open Source community was really about and I wanted to improve that understanding by providing an example.”
Providing a Windows installer is a shrewd move for Microsoft as it will give developers the tools to make more Windows applications – plus being a utility program it won’t cannibalise MS’s core business.
We hope that this is just the first in many releases under the Common Public License, and look forward to seeing more tools and utilities being released soon.