Microsoft recently formed its opensource group under James Utzschneider,Microsoft's general manager of open source which will directly report to the company number two, chief operating officer and aggressive compete-to-win-type Kevin Turner.The company will redefine its opensource strategy, much of which was initiated by Sam Ramji who left Mircosoft for family reasons,will now be getting a broader, cross-company view inside Microsoft's global business and marketing operations unit.
Over the years, Microsoft has tried to get on friendly terms with open source veterans and also made a number of donations and contributions to open source projects and Linux. These included a release of a pair of PHP patches under the Free Software Foundation's Lesser GPL license, the SQL Server Driver for PHP released under Microsoft's own Permissive License, the release by Microsoft of 20,000 lines of Windows kernel code under GPLv2 ( *alebit this move was clearly designed to bolster Windows as a hosting environment for servers running both Linux and Windows* )to improve performance and manageability of Linux running insider the company's Hyper-V, and the Windows Installer XML (WiX) toolset to SourceForge.
According to Utzschneider, Microsoft has changed, but still Microsoft has a legacy of misinterpretations and bad blood. Who can forget the bar knuckled fight between Microsoft and Linux,the halloween memos, the hated get the facts campaign, Steve Ballmer’s claims that Linux is violating Microsoft’s patents… Utzschneider commented to change perceptions about the company that the company can't use "clever advertising or press."
"It has to be done with products and actions and behavior on a sustained basis across the company and across the ecosystem. I want the idea of Microsoft being proprietary and closed and not open to interoperating - I want that to disappear as an issue," he said.
On further probing he commented upon the code release policy which is underway which will enable ordinary coders to release code to open source based on Microsoft’s products. As of now, Microsoft aims at blurring the line between opensource and closed source giant,at least that's what Utzschneider claimed
"We are quite content to say: 'Here's the value from what we are presenting and here's the value from the comp products' but we are doing that without the religion of: 'Oh my God, there's two different worlds and you have to choose one - a world where you have to pay for software and one is weird and different and free.' That's what we've moved away from as a company.
"We have to teach our sellers how to talk about open source in a new way, and the overall theme is that it's OK for open-source products and Microsoft products to work together. There's a growing Microsoft ecosystem that we are going to encourage.
Lets see where all of this goes..I guess pigs do fly..
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