There are a couple of great highlights here and some fluff.
First the fluff (nothing wrong with looking nice while out on the town). Eclipse is going to be made useful for "next generation" user experience development for Windows 7 features.
Now on to the more exciting juicy pieces.
Microsoft has collaborated with Soyatec, a France-based IT solutions provider, to develop three solutions:
- Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse for PHP developers: www.windowsazure4e.org
- Windows Azure Software Developer Kit (SDK) for Java: www.windowsazure4j.org
- Eclipse Tools for Silverlight: www.eclipse4SL.org
Along with the SDK there is a Storage Explorer of Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse—it allows developers to browse data contained in the Windows Azure storage component, including blobs, tables, and queues. Storage Explorer was developed in Java (like any Eclipse extension), and they realized during the Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse development with Soyatec that abstracting the RESTful communication aspect between the Storage Explorer user interface and the Azure storage component made a lot of sense. So this led them to package the Windows Azure SDK for Java developers as open source, which is available at www.windowsazure4j.org.
Their interoperability strategy and open source direction is becoming competitive.