Microsoft expands academic development partnerships
- By Jack Vaughan
[MARCH 4, 2003/ADT'S PROGRAMMERS REPORT] - Linux, like Unix and C before it, made headway in corporations because it was already
familiar to university graduates new to the workforce.
Free or nearly free software for academia made this possible, and that fact
has not gone unnoticed by desktop software giant Microsoft Corp. Most
especially, the company does not want to lose advantages it has gained over the
last 10 years as use of its Visual Studio suites has spread.
Microsoft, in recent years, has worked to improve the
visibility of its development tools on campus. Last month, that effort was
expanded. Microsoft also announced that the next version of its flagship
programming tool for academia, Visual Studio .NET 2003 Academic Edition, will be released to U.S. schools in conjunction
with professional versions of the tool.
All this is something of a philanthropic thing to do, but
it can also serve a purpose in the marketplace, admits Jason Matusow, manager of the
Shared Source Unit at Microsoft.
''The MSDN [Microsoft Developer Network] Academic Alliance
is about making our software more available to students,'' Matusow said. ''We also
recognize that these students do come to work in the professional space.'' If the
opportunity is there to work with Microsoft tools, ''they won't have to ramp up,''
said Matusow, who estimates that more than 3 million students and faculty can now access the
MSDN Academic Alliance program.
At the time of these announcements, Microsoft also said
that source code for an Assignment Manager component of Visual Studio .NET 2003,
which allows teachers to fashion programming courseware, will be made available under Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative through
an Academic Tools Source License.
In addition, the company announced 25 academic recipients
of Innovation Excellence research grants. This year, the program garnered 152
submissions, almost double the amount it received last year, and Microsoft will
award $3.5 million to the chosen projects. Among the winners are a BioHazard
project at Carnegie Mellon, a 3D Digital Sketching project at Cornell,
peer-to-peer security technology at Rice, and a ''Ubiquitous Awareness in a College Environment''
program at Catholic University of Chile.
List of grant recipients:
* Carnegie Mellon, BioHazard project
Catholic University of Chile, Ubiquitous Awareness in a College Environment
Cornell, Distributed Systems Support for the Global Real Time Enterprise
Cornell, From Sketch to Solid, 3D Digital Sketching
* Georgia Tech,
Augmenting Mobile Devices by Opportunistically Annexing Devices in the
* Georgia Tech, SAC.NET
* Michigan State, PromoPad: Tablet PCs
as an Augmented Reality Shipping Asst.
* Monash/Queensland (Australia) &
University of Tennessee, NetSolve and Active Sheets
* NYU, Casual
Communication of Ideas: The Killer App for the Tablet PC
* Ohio State,
Introducing Modular GXA Web Services to Healthcare IT and Mobile Systems
* Rice, LeSTer
* Rice, Security for Structured Peer-to-Peer
* Universidad Technologica Nacional (Argentina), Ubiquitous
* UC Berkeley, LiveNotes
* UC San
Diego, Extensible Context-Aware Component Infrastructure for Highly Integrated,
Heterogeneous .NET Clients
* Minnesota, A New Design Tool on Tablet PC
Authorizing Routing for Web Services
* USC, Proteus, a System for Execution
of Dynamically Composed Web Services Using GXA
* Information Sciences
Institute, Responsible Conferencing: Congestion Control for High Quality
* Toronto, Tilting Text Input to Mobile Devices
Federated Secure Trust Networks for Distributed Healthcare IT Services
Virginia, GXA for E-Science, OGSA.NET
* Washington, The Teacher Experience Project
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Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.