Other possible collaborations also were cited. Ramji said he and Milinkovich have talked about Microsoft building a C# IDE at Eclipse. "That's a conversation Mike and I will keep [having]," he said. "Watch this space."
Microsoft also is pondering accepting Java as a first-class citizen on the Windows platform, Ramji acknowledged. "I think there's enough interest to start taking a look at that," he said.
The Wiseman project, offering a Java implementation of the WS-Management stack for Web services, also was mentioned by Ramji. He did not commit, however, to Microsoft having official Eclipse "committers" who work on Eclipse projects.
An analyst was skeptical of Microsoft's efforts. "We need some more fine print to make sure there's not any weird clauses like that 'not for commercial use' stuff in the Microsoft interop memo," from a few weeks ago, said analyst Michael Cote of RedMonk.
An attendee at EclipseCon was encouraged by Microsoft but still had questions about the company's intentions.
"I believe Microsoft can't ignore the open-source movement," said the attendee, Samuel Edge, president and CEO of Neoharbor, which offers electronic publishing services.
He raised the issue about what impact Microsoft's patents could have on the company's intentions.
"Microsoft's patent portfolio is quite large and what's going to be their primary interest? Protecting that or help facilitate open source," Edge said. "It's one of my biggest concerns."
Microsoft is in the third year of a 10-year effort to bolster its stance in the open-source realm. By 2015, Microsoft expects to be considered a responsible member of the open-source development community, said Ramji.
Microsoft also is working with the Apache Software Foundation on interoperability with Windows Server, said Ramji.
Ramji jokingly began his presentation by announcing a fictitious project named "Supernova," which would have Eclipse and Visual Studio merging and Microsoft acquiring copyrights and trademarks from the Eclipse Foundation.
He had mentioned he would be presenting at EclipseCon during a panel session at the MIX08 conference in Las Vegas two weeks ago.