It’s all about the SOFTWARE

There’s thousands and thousands of people, developers, who make computer programs. The largest share make programs for Microsoft Windows. There’s the software developers who make such large programs as Quickbooks, Eudora, Corel and thousands more. Then there’s the also developers who make programs for the major Windows products.
For example, Intuit, FileMaker and many other companies have official developer networks or at the very least enable programmers to make add-on tools and services for their products.
In FileMaker’s case, interestingly enough, the market for add-on FileMaker products is MORE than the market for FileMaker itself.
IBM and Linux have a growing array of programmers that worry Microsoft.
Instead of creating program for Microsoft Windows, thus furthering the base of Windows development, these programs could make programs that make it easier and easier for businesses to NOT have to rely on Windows so much.
This Microsoft is out to court even more programmers. The NY Times writes Microsoft owes much of its success to its skillful care and feeding of software developers, making it comparatively easy and inexpensive to write programs that run on the company’s franchise product, the Windows operating system.
But Microsoft now faces rising competition for the allegiance of developers, especially from open source software like Linux, which have code and programming tools that are distributed free.
Microsoft is making a bid today to win over new developers with a stripped-down line of products including a free database and inexpensive developer tools. The new offerings – called “Express” versions of more feature-packed Microsoft products – are intended for the 18 million people worldwide who write useful programs, but do not make their living as software developers.
The ranks of nonprofessional developers, Microsoft estimates, are growing at about 8 percent to 15 percent a year, which is four or five times the growth rate of professional developers. “More people are finding that some computer science skills are important in business and other fields,” observed John Montgomery, a director of product development in Microsoft’s developer division.
“Those are 18 million nonprofessional developers and we want as many of them as we can writing Windows applications, and to convert some of them to professional developers,” Mr. Montgomery said. (full story)
It’s interesting to note that Microsoft has taken a name, “Express”, similar to IBM’s software offering geared to small-medium sized businesses.