Microsoft to work with Joyent to port Node.js to Windows, Azure

Summary:Microsoft is "formally contributing resources" toward porting Node.js to Windows in partnership with Joyent, according to a June 23 blog post on Nodejs.

Microsoft is "formally contributing resources" toward porting Node.js to Windows in partnership with Joyent, according to a June 23 blog post on Nodejs.org.

The native port to Windows is underway, and requires a "rather large modification of the core structure," according to the post, authored by Ryan Dahl, the creator of node. The ultimate goal is to create an official binary node.exe release on Nodejs.org, "which will work on Windows Azure and other Windows versions as far back as (Windows Server) 2003," the post added.

(There's word so far as to when the work is likely to be completed or exactly what kinds of resources Microsoft is offering. I've asked Microsoft for comment on both of these issues)

Update: Microsoft isn't providing a target delivery date or specifics about the dollar/people commitment it is making. Here's the official statement from Claudio Caldato, Principal Program Manager, Interoperability Strategy Team:

"As we are still in the early stages of this project, we don’t have a release date as yet. While we want to have great Windows support as soon as possible, our main goal is to ensure quality and performance so that Windows developers can rely on a solid and reliable NodeJS runtime environment. We are working with the Node.js open source community and, as Joyent said on their blog, Microsoft is contributing Engineering resources to make this happen. We want to make sure that Windows is a great platform for all developers."

Node.js a command line tool that lets developers run JavaScript programs by typing 'node my_app.js." The JavaScript is executed by the V8 JavaScript engine -- "the thing that makes Google Chrome so fast," as explained on Debuggable.com in its "Understanding Node.js" post. Node  provides a JavaScript API for accessing the network and file system. It is particularly suited for development of scalable networked programs where low response times and high concurrency are important.

Currently, to use Node.js on Windows, developers need to run a virtual machine with Linux.

There are a number of tech companies already using/experimenting with Node.js. More from the Debuggable.com post:

"Yahoo is experimenting with node for YUI, Plurk is using it for massive comet and Paul Bakaus (of jQuery UI fame) is building a mind-blowing game engine that has some node in the backend. Joyent has hired Ryan Dahl (the creator of node) and heavily sponsors the development. Oh, and Heroku just announced (experimental ) hosting support for node.js as well."

In other Azure developer news, Microsoft made available for download this week the June 2011 Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of the Windows Azure Plug-in for Eclipse with Java. The Plug-in is targeted at Eclipse users interested in creating and configuring deployment packages of their Java applications for the Windows Azure cloud, according to Microsoft.

(Thanks to @smarx for the heads up, via Twitter, on the Node.js news.)

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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