There’s little debate that Microsoft has become a company willing to work across competitive boundaries over the last few years, but it looks like Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer, might have gotten a little bit ahead of himself in the run-up to the holiday break in claiming that one of the company’s main rivals has embraced one of its key software development products.
As breathlessly reported by CNBC just before the holiday break, during an appearance on the Windows Weekly podcast, Capossela singled out the open-source Visual Studio Code development environment as one of the company’s “hidden gems,” claiming that “we see more Google developers using VS Code than not. It’s incredible; the majority of Google developers are using it now.”
In response to an inquiry from GeekWire, a Google representative raised a virtual eyebrow at the implication that the majority of its developers were using VS Code, referring inquiries back to Microsoft.
Last week representatives for Microsoft steered clear of confirming that claim in a statement provided to GeekWire, and declined to comment further when presented with follow-up questions about the source of the claim.
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“Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio were the two most popular development environments globally, per Stack Overflow’s yearly developer survey, representing answers from >100k developers,” a representative from Microsoft’s public relations agency said in a statement. “Various teams at Google are using Visual Studio Code extensively in a number of projects, including Chrome, Angular and more. Visual Studio Code has more than 4.9 million monthly active users and is the most popular editor for Go developers, according to the Go 2017 survey.”
Santa could drive a sleigh through the holes in that statement. Everything in it is correct: Stack Overflow surveys reach a huge percentage of software developers across the world, and Go, a programming language originally created at Google, is growing in popularity thanks in part to the growth of cloud computing. But while Google employees have said indeed said they are using Visual Studio Code in certain projects, “extensively” is rather vague when compared to the statement that at least 51 percent of Google developers are using the product.
Perhaps Capossela was referring more broadly to developers working on projects designed by Google, such as Android? According to that same Stack Overflow survey cited by Microsoft, 56.6 percent of mobile developers are actually using Android Studio, compared to 36.6 percent who are using Visual Studio Code.
Google declined to comment on the record.