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Microsoft is interested in developing a Wiki. Instead of creating its own extension, the company is buying its way into the market with the acquisition of Agile Extensions. The company says the purchase is part of its long-term goal to offer a built-in Wiki experience for Team Services.

In an announcement blog post, Microsoft says this experience would help customers as they will not have to install an extension from the Marketplace. According to the company, an extension ecosystem as important to delivering an optimum DevOps experience.

Such an extension will allow the company to introduce new tech and solutions to customers. The ability to amass a community is also a factor for Microsoft, helping to build up a platform. However, the company says that a Wiki is a way to make the Team Services experience more social. Microsoft has been exploring the idea of an extension for some time.

The purchase of Agile Extensions will give Microsoft a Wiki base without having to ground up a project. In the post, the company explains how the acquisition will help push its Wiki aspirations.

“To achieve this we will leverage the existing extension as a starting point, and deprecate the Marketplace listing once we’re ready to release our built-in solution. Acquiring the extension is our first step and I’m including some additional thoughts below.”

Microsoft had already been working with Agile Extensions to create the existing extension. However, when the company realized it needed its own built-in solution, it “made sense” to purchase the company.

“In the short term, this acquisition will not impact you and there is no action required. The extension will show up as being published by a different publisher, ‘Microsoft DevLabs’ instead of ‘Agile Extensions’, but you’ll be able to continue using it without disruption. Long-term, we will deprecate the Marketplace listing and give customers an option to migrate their Wiki content to the built-in experience.”

Wiki Timeline

Microsoft says there are now specific dates for the extension. However, the team is already developing the Wiki and is using current extension feedback to help decide the direction. The company also details what users have said they want the most from a Wiki extension:

  • Welcome page: there is an inherent desire to have a customized home page that teams can author
  • Navigation: As Wikis grow, finding the right page becomes a pain so we’ll need to land this properly
  • Browsing: Ordering a specific page is desirable but easier, and authoring an ordered list of pages is painful and very valuable
  • Authors: Pages are authored not only by developers but also by content writers and project managers there having a simple authoring mechanism is key