Perhaps I'm being a bit short sighted but as someone who is a .NET and Windows programmer I don't really understand the impetus to do this. The majority programmers in the Windows ecosystem who would choose to use Node under Windows instead of *nix are typically going to fall under the same group as those who haven't a clue what Node is yet and probably wouldn't bother moving outside the .NET ecosystem for web development.
The people and organizations which choose to use Windows for web tend to make a choice to embrace the entire Microsoft ecosystem and those who don't are generally be happy to use the tools that make sense for Node.
Right, but this is my point, unless there is a compelling reason for the technology of Windows to run Node.js over nix, most competent Windows dev teams will choose a hybrid environment and use nix to run Node.
So perhaps I am being short sighted and there is a compelling technical reason to run Node.js on Windows, but if it's just having a market of devs who don't want to develop on *nix then I don't see it.
People might complain that this is unimportant, but look at it this way:
Node.js is increasingly being used for infrastructure-type services, often involving custom protocols. It would be useful if these services were cross platform (for integration with legacy Windows programs if nothing else). Having a good Windows deployment story (ie, non Cygwin) is vital for this.
Slide #21: "Bert Belder is the man behind enemy lines doing the Windows work. We need more help."
After he spent 2 years on this project with great success, how come you suddenly know better than him what he should or shouldn't do next?
Breaking into Windows on a solid, non-hacky basis will be crucial to bring NodeJS to the next level. As some other poster said, this will further enlarge the node community and result in even more/better/faster utilities, libs, fixes etc.
Look at it this way, Enterprises are stuck on Windows and their devs don't have a choice about that... but they can influence the development platform that their upcoming projects will run on. Many of those will be highly tempted to break out of the ASP.NET routine. Maybe server-side JS for most is just a shiny toy... maybe they don't "get non-blocking IO" or will resort to old learned threading/concurrency patterns when they shouldn't... but who cares?
Also think about server-side products. FogBugz, HelpSpot, SharePoint ... all provided not just hosted on the cloud but often requested to be installable by admins locally or in a private company-owned/hosted "cloud". Basing future products in those categories on NodeJS will require smooth Windows support to achieve wider acceptance and adoption.
You cannot tell enterprises to change their corporation-wide OS policy... but if you can run your stuff on it, you don't have to embrace the whole rest of the MS stack, they don't care about that one bit.
Only peripherally related, but re: non-blocking IO: at least one framework already exists to do that within the .NET ecosystem (Manos). It's by no means popular (yet--I'm hoping it catches a little fire as it matures), but it does already exist. ;-) Node is much further along, though, and would be a nice tool to have in my toolbox when I'm working on one of my Windows machines.
(IMO, however, the "behind enemy lines" crap is just that. These projects would be a lot better off if they left the poo-flinging to Groklaw and Roy Schestowitz. You want to talk about disheartening...)
I'm 99% confident from their general writing, tweeting, blogging etc. that this was highly highly Tongue-in-Cheek and irony referencing exactly the poo-flinging you now bemoan. Look how much thought they invest in making it work well on Windows. They wouldn't show that kind of motivation if they (or at least this Bert) truly believed Win was a piece of crap.
He is working to build a long term project and as much I dislike Windows there are developers that use it. In the long run it will promote growth in the platform, creating new libraries and new perspectives.