Hejlsberg: That all depends on how you look at it. You can download the Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions for nothing, and I would argue that in many ways they are better, more deeply integrated tools than some of the stuff you can do with Eclipse. And conversely, with Eclipse you typically end up paying money anyway because you buy a particular distribution of it and you buy it as part of [IBM] WebSphere or whatever and you actually do pay money. So it's not that clear, it's a bit of a fallacy that everything is free in that space and everything costs money with our platform.
InfoWorld: Have you worked with the Eclipse environment at all?
Hejlsberg: I've played with it, but I don't use it day to day because I don't code in that environment day to day.
InfoWorld: What was your impression of it?
Hejlsberg: Oh, I think it's got lots of nice stuff. It's definitely a real product, I mean, no doubt about it.
InfoWorld: What do you think the endgame is for Eclipse? Take over the industry?
Hejlsberg: It certainly seems to be taking over a lot of the Java IDE industry, but that's just me observing what's going on there.
InfoWorld: In the past few months you have BEA, Borland, and now Macromedia using Eclipse as a basis for a lot of their technology. What do you think that means? That software companies are relying on the Eclipse IDE?
Hejlsberg: It's a good question. I think in many ways it makes it harder for these companies to control their own destiny when the IDE has been commoditized to the extent that you're now just writing plug-ins to an IDE as opposed to actually bringing a new IDE to the world. By the way, with Borland, not all of their tools are based on that. They also have a whole offering for .Net, the Delphi [technology].
InfoWorld: Are there any open source plans for Visual Studio or anything other than what Microsoft's already done with the Shared Source initiative?
Hejlsberg: No. Not to my knowledge, no.
InfoWorld: What is your take on Mono?
Hejlsberg: Oh, I think it's great, I think it's proof that standardization works, that the work that we've done in ECMA to standardize CLI [Common Language Infrastructure] and C# actually has [results] and we have seen completely independent third-party implementations of the infrastructure. So I think it's a good thing. I think it's more good for us than bad for us.
InfoWorld: During a panel discussion last night, one of the speakers, from a college, said his school has anti-Microsoft people, but so does every college. What would you say to the anti-Microsoft crowd, either corporations or universities or whatever, about Microsoft?