Microsoft, Joyent deliver 'first stable build' of Node.js on Windows

Microsoft and Joyent have hit the 'first stable build' milestone of their native Windows port of Node.js. Meanwhile, Microsoft is adding Python language support to its Kinect development kit.

Microsoft and Joyent announced in June they were working together to create a native Windows port of node.js. On November 7, via a post on the Microsoft Interoperability Blog, Microsoft officials announced the pair had their "first stable build" running.

Node.js a command line tool that lets developers run JavaScript programs by typing ‘node my_app.js.” Node provides a JavaScript application programming interface (API)  for accessing the network and file system, and is particularly suited for the 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.

Microsoft and Joyent said their plan 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 pair declined to provide a timetable as when they expected to realize that goal.

On November 7, Microsoft execs announced the completion of v0.6.0 – "which is the first official stable build that includes Windows support."

According to the November 7 post by Claudio Caldato, Microsoft Principal Program Manager, Interoperability Strategy Team, "(W)hile we were busy making the core Node.js runtime run on Windows, the Azure team was working on iisnode to enable Node.js to be hosted in IIS. Among other significant benefits, Windows native support gave Node.js significant performane improvements."

There's still no word as to when to expect a version 1.0, but Caldato blogged that those interested should "stay tuned for more information."

In other developer-related news, Microsoft has released an alpha version of the 1.1 release of its Python Tools for Visual Studio. The 1.1 version of this free, open source (Apache licensed) plug-in adds support for over 75 bug fixes and new features, as well as the addition of a Python to/from Excel connector (Pyvot) and support for writing games in Python that use the Microsoft Kinect sensor (PyKinect).

Here are more details on PyKinect from a November 8 Microsoft Education Blogger post:

The "PyKinect sample is a wrapper around the Kinect SDK (software development kit) and enables development with the Kinect SDK directly from Python. The library presents an API which is similar to the API exposed via the Kinect SDK for C# developers. The sample includes a new template for quickly getting started creating games using PyGame with PyKinect. PyKinect is licensed under a license similar to the existing Kinect SDK. PyKinect only requires a Python implementation with ctypes – currently only Python 2.7 is supported."

Update: There's a Microsoft Channel 9 video with more details on Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 if you want more information.