"I remember the good old days where open source was the hippie kind of people, and Microsoft were the business/enterprise people, and it was like water and fire. You could not put those people together in one room or it would be some kind of a war," says Michelangelo van Dam, co-founder and president of the PHP user group PHPBenelux in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
REACHING OUT: Microsoft: 'We love open source'
A few years ago, Microsoft approached van Dam and colleagues, saying the company wanted to ensure that PHP could install natively on Windows. Since then, Microsoft has continued discussions with the PHP community and has built automation tools into Windows Server, making it easier to install PHP on Windows than on Linux, according to van Dam.
Microsoft says it started reaching out to PHP community members in 2006 because programmers were choosing to deploy PHP applications on Unix or Linux rather than Windows. Since 2009 Microsoft has offered the Web Platform Installer tool to install PHP on Windows.
"We started talking, and we got to see that Microsoft is actually opening up to our world of PHP," van Dam says. "And they're doing a great job at it. We met with Microsoft here in Belgium in 2008 and have been working closely together with them to see how we can incorporate their products, their services, into our worlds and help them by giving them feedback from our community."