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Microsoft adopts open source jQuery

By   |  September 29, 2008

Microsoft is to include the popular open source jQuery library in its Visual Studio development suite. jQuery is an open source Ajax framework for developing rich web applications.

At the same time Nokia has also said it would use jQuery for its mobile web development. The move will add to the momentum around jQuery as Microsoft and Nokia join the likes of Google and Amazon as well as thousands of other websites using the framework.

In a blog posting on Sunday announcing the move, Scott Guthrie, Microsoft corporate vice president, said that “a big part of the appeal of jQuery is that it allows you to elegantly (and efficiently) find and manipulate HTML elements with minimum lines of code.

“Providing the ability to perform selection and animation operations … is something that a lot of developers have asked us to add to ASP.NET AJAX, and this support was something we listed as a proposed feature in the ASP.NET AJAX Roadmap we published a few months ago. As the team started to investigate building it, though, they quickly realized that the jQuery support for these scenarios is already excellent, and that there is a huge ecosystem and community built up around it already,” said Guthrie.

Shifting focus

Why is this important? Because it is yet another sign that Microsoft is indeed starting to change. When Microsoft first laid out its Ajax roadmap it looked to many that the Redmond giant planned on re-inventing the wheel by creating its own framework. The fact that the company has looked at what is already in wide use and opted to go with that suggests that the days where Microsoft doggedly pursued its own agenda – often to the detriment of standards – are slowly receding.

It’s also important because it means that Microsoft is indeed, as it has been claiming, trying to engage with the open source community.

As Adam DuVander writes: “This is a great move by Microsoft to avoid creating its own jQuery-like framework. The company that seems to always require others to change is adapting to the way things already are on the web.”


8 Responses to “Microsoft adopts open source jQuery”

  1. Elmer Botha
    September 29th, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

    Being a developer at heart, and supporting the Open Source initiative completely, it’s great to see that Microsoft is doing the same. It would be great to see their progression into the open source arena.

    Great post!

  2. Nathan
    September 30th, 2008 @ 2:11 am

    Being a developer at heart, you should know better. Nothing good will come of this. Just Microsoft up to their old embrace extend extinguish tricks as usual. That huge sucking sound you hear is all of the former contributors to jQuery running to another project.

  3. Alastair
    October 1st, 2008 @ 8:49 am


    I’m generally the last person to defend Microsoft but I do thing that this is a step forward. Sure, always be aware that Microsoft has a habit of “extending and extinguishing” but there appears to be growing evidence that the company is changing. It probably has a lot to do with them being on the backfoot as OSS and other competition grows. It’s not a position the company likes being in and this kind of move has all the signs that Microsoft knows it is not as omnipotent as it previously was. Let’s keep our eyes open but welcome the shift from Microsoft.

  4. Elmer Botha
    October 1st, 2008 @ 10:17 am


    I can see your a passionate individual Nathan. The problem I have with your statement is that it is the “in” thing to say. “I am a hardcore os fan so therefore Microsoft is evil” or “Linux rule dude, like, yeah man…, and, like, Windows sucks man.” are purely statements spawned out of a geeky, open source sub-culture. Being a geek myself I understand these kind of responses, and usually there are some merit to it. However, I do propose that we utter responses which truthfully represents the intellectual altitude of the open source community.

  5. Henk
    October 1st, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

    I have been a developer (Unix) for years, I have been in the business of software and clients for years. I have also used Linux for years now, even in our Microsoft environments. I think the shift that is happening at Microsoft is good for everybody, developers and business. In the real world businesses run a mix of solutions and platforms, be it Microsoft, Linux, Mac, IBM MVS, IBM AIX or Sun. As a software house you have to develop for business. So, looking at it with my realist hat on I can see the good in this, for everybody. I think instead of attacking Microsoft we should rather see the good in it and get them to do more. We all support Open Source, now let us try keep an Open Mind.

  6. Elmer Botha
    October 1st, 2008 @ 2:35 pm

    Well said 😉

  7. Nathan
    October 1st, 2008 @ 9:56 pm

    I certainly appreciate the well reasoned responses to my previous comment. However, please remember that Microsoft has spent decades using every underhanded trick in the book to bully OEM’s to stock only their OS, destroy otherwise healthy competition, recently dumping their products on developing markets, manipulating ISO for the benefit of OOXML. This isn’t competition based on product and innovative merit. This is systematic destruction of what would otherwise be a healthy software market. Microsoft’s behavior is indicative of pathology. They are a convicted abusive monopoly in the US and Europe. I mean, I could go on all day, but what more do you want?

    Can they change? Of course. But if you had a relative that was a ne’er do well for 20 years and suddenly last week, they showed up in church with a new suit and a haircut, while you may tentatively embrace the beginnings of change, I don’t think you’d open your mind so wide that your brains would fall out assuming that everything has been completely turned around. And yes, I am a Linux user. Primarily because it is years ahead of the competition in features, configurability, and portability. It’s primary failing is lack of video games and ease of use for the uninitiated. However, my initials are not RMS but until Microsoft has had a track record of at least several years of good behavior, I think it is safe to be very suspicious of everything they do.

  8. Tectonic » Microsoft adds Drupal, Wordpress support
    October 21st, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

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