Rather than duplicate functionality, we thought, wouldn't it be great to just use jQuery as-is, and add it as a standard, supported, library in VS/ASP.NET, and then focus our energy building new features that took advantage of it? We sent mail [to] the jQuery team to gauge their interest in this, and quickly heard back that they thought that it sounded like an interesting idea too.
So that's what the company is doing. Microsoft joins a list of jQuery users including Reuters, Intuit and Intel.
ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn sees the move as a "tipping point" in the business model battle between open source and proprietary software. Writing about the jQuery decision, he said:
The war between business models is over. Open source has won ... When Microsoft needs open source software, and open source developers, to retain market share that's a very big deal. Someone just got embraced and extended, and I think it was Microsoft.
Blankenhorn concedes that this doesn't mean that Microsoft magically goes away and is no longer a factor in the market. Microsoft has too much cash to not be. However, he notes that once the crisis in the economy resolves, "it's an open source world."