In an interesting development, Guido van Rossum, creator of the popular open source Python programming language, has come out of retirement to join Microsoft.
Tweeting the news, 67-year old van Rossum, who called it quits last October after around six and a half years at storage firm Dropbox, said he had found retirement to be “boring”.
van Rossum started working on Python in the late 1980s, helping turn it into one of the most popular programming languages in the world, popular for being dexterous enough to appeal to six year olds as well as to AI researchers.
van Rossum explained that he was joining the Developer Division at Microsoft – a decision which may surprise many, as there should be no dearth of true-blue open source companies who would have paid top dollar to have someone of his stature in their roster.
Even more interestingly, both van Rossum and Microsoft don’t seem to have any idea on how to make the most of this partnership. Or, they aren’t sharing.
In his tweet van Rossum writes that he doesn’t yet have anything specific to work on at the moment, but there are “too many options”, adding that “there’s lots of open source here.”
Microsoft is just as clueless. As per reports Microsoft doesn’t have any additional details about van Rossum’s role at the company. It confirmed the news before regurgitating the spiel about Microsoft’s commitment to the Python community.
For now van Rossum says he will continue working on making Python better and “not just on WIndows” he adds quickly sensing how his move will be perceived by a certain section of the open source community.