Microsoft invites Irish ISVs on board Longhorn


16 Dec 2003

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Microsoft has called on the Irish software development community and independent software vendors (ISVs) to continue to develop applications on .Net as the applications will seamlessly integrate with the forthcoming operating system, code-name Longhorn. The company has also launched a programme aimed at opening up all Microsoft development tools for Irish developers for €320 a year.

The move follows a preview of Longhorn at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October. At the conference the company outlined its commitment to .Net and web services as well as highlighted key components of Longhorn such as the new file system architecture entitled WinFS, the new vector-based graphics system entitled Avalon and its web services subsystem entitled Indigo. At the conference Microsoft Development Network (MSDN) members were issued with pre-alpha developer-only copies of Longhorn in order to get ISVs cracking on creating applications suitable to Longhorn in time for its release in mid-2005.

“There is no question about it, this is a commercial play,” developer and platform manager for Microsoft Ireland, Maurice Martin told siliconrepublic.com. “The real power is going to come from the supply chain of applications that ISVs create. Our message to developers is that they should continue to develop on the .Net platform as .Net will integrate seamlessly with Longhorn when it becomes available.

“To bolster this we’ve launched the Empower programme that is aimed at ISVs and that will give an ISV five copies of Microsoft developer software as long as they’re committed to developing on our platform for €320 a year. Signing up to the initiative will give them similar privileges as MSDN members. It will also allow them to download the pre-alpha developer-only software from Microsoft’s website.”

A former venture capitalist and developer at Iona Technologies, Martin said that the Irish ISV community is well placed to develop web services technologies. “According to IDC, there are between 700 and 800 ISVs in the Irish market, of which 170 are non-Irish headquartered.

“The new Empower initiative has so far been taken up by 35 local ISVs. This provides ISVs with a great opportunity to position their products in the future and gives them a chance to build up their value propositions alongside the .Net and the future Longhorn technologies,” Martin said.

By John Kennedy