Microsoft joins the open-source Eclipse Foundation

Microsoft today announced that it is joining the Eclipse Foundation — the open source group that’s probably best known for its Eclipse IDE, but which also offers a number of other developer tools.

With this, Microsoft is joining other Eclipse sponsors like Google, Novell, IBM, Debeka, and Oracle.

Given that Microsoft offers its own IDE in the form of Visual Studio, today’s announcement may come as a bit of a surprise. Microsoft, however, is already active in the Eclipse ecosystem. The company offers an Azure toolkit for Eclipse, for example, as well as a Java SDK for Azure that Eclipse users can use to build their cloud applications.

“We have worked with the Eclipse Foundation for many years to improve the Java experience across our portfolio of application platform and development services, including Visual Studio Team Services and Microsoft Azure,” Microsoft’s general manager of its Developer Division Shanku Niyogi writes today. “Joining the Eclipse Foundation enables us to collaborate more closely with the Eclipse community, deliver a great set of tools and services for all development teams, and continuously improve our cloud services, SDKs and tools.”

With today’s announcement, Microsoft is clearly trying to strengthen its role in the open source ecosystem. In addition to joining the foundation, the company also today announced that it is open sourcing its Team Explorer Everywhere plugin for Eclipse, adding Azure IoT support to the Eclipse foundation’s Kura IoT framework, and launching improved support for Java developers in Azure.