Microsoft Embraces PHP

In the if-you-can’t-beat-‘em category, Microsoft and Zend (creator of the PHP engine and a big corporate sponsor) have announced “a technical collaboration agreement……that aims to provide customers running PHP on the Windows Server platform with a better, faster and more reliable experience.”

As part of the process, Microsoft is developing a native FastCGI interface for IIS and will offer it as a free download. The two companies are also working on ways to make PHP even faster and more efficient on Windows.

This is a good and interesting development. It’s good because a lot of us are on Windows/IIS platforms by either choice or bad living, and anything that makes PHP on that platform better is a positive development (though I haven’t really had any problems with it per se).

It’s interesting because despite a few odd attempts to merge PHP and the .NET CLR, PHP is generally considered a competitor to Microsoft’s .NET. As Peter Yared of ActiveGrid puts it, “I also need to point out that people are choosing PHP over .Net for the same reasons they are choosing PHP over Java: because of its ease of use and the fact that it does not have the overhead.”

It might be a while before any fruit emerges from this project, but I’m going to keep my eye on it.