Open World Forum 2013: Three Days of “Thinking, Coding, and Experimenting” with Open Source Thought Leaders

Posted by Frédéric Aatz
Director of Interoperability, Microsoft France

Earlier this month, I was fortunate to be back at Open World Forum, the first event of its kind to bring together European political and IT leaders to discuss opportunities for free and open source technologies to deliver technological, economic and social impact.


It was a great opportunity to spend three days “thinking, coding, and experimenting” with these thought leaders, highlighting ways that Microsoft is working with open source communities to deliver value for our mutual customers.

Social cloud

Throughout the event, attendees could stay up to speed on trending social dialogue with “Social Cloud” (pictured above) – an open source Node.js application hosted on Windows Azure.

During my keynote on how interoperability and support for open source applications are key to Microsoft’s devices and services strategy, I was joined onstage by SUSE’s Philippe Desmaison, Alfonso Castro from Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group, and Qual.IT.

Qual.IT is a cloud computing provider of IAAS and PAAS services, with great support for virtualization of open source solutions. Qual.IT detailed their recent decision to bet their business, in a competitive hosting environment, by building on Windows Server 2012 with Microsoft Hyper-V and Systems Center 2012, to manage and administer their heterogeneous environments, noting the advantages of Microsoft’s support for several Linux distributions.

Alfonso Castro from Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group and I in the Microsoft boothMany discussions at the Microsoft booth focused on two areas: the breadth of support for open source software on Windows Azure and the overall debate about open source and proprietary software. There was a consensus that the opposition between open source and commercial software is over. Many of the key speakers from government, as well as professional associations, emphasized tech neutrality and the importance of innovating with what’s best for customers, which in some cases is a combination of open source and propriety software – and, we’re trying our best to support this level of interoperability.

Many thanks to the Open World Forum team, who never fails to bring together a diverse collection of notable speakers across many competencies – politicians, developers, business and IT leaders. Share any of your favorite moments from this year’s Forum in the comments below. We hope to see you next year!

Also for you those readers fluent in French, you can watch the following video of my interview at OWF, discussing Microsoft’s support for open source solutions in more detail.

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