Press Alert: Open Source at Microsoft

by Peter Galli on February 25, 2009 06:53pm

Open Source at Microsoft has gotten a lot of press attention recently.

Influential blogger Matt Asay reported today that Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools business, was at the Stanford Accel Symposium, where he said that "at some point, almost all our product(s) will have open source in (them) ... If MySQL (or) Linux do a better job for you, of course you should use those products."

Asay also acknowledges that more and more of Microsoft's products already do include open-source software (including MSN Messenger and Visual Studio), "but it's still refreshing to hear Microsoft acknowledge what most enterprise software companies - including proprietary software companies with much to lose from open source - already know: open source is mainstream," he says.

Gavin Clarke of The Register reported this week that Microsoft has invited the open-source community to build plug-ins for Visual Studio 2010, and has improved database support to help build partner backing for its planned integrated development environment (IDE).

Visual Studio general manager Jason Zander told Clarke that he'd like to see open-source developers contribute their best ideas to Microsoft's next IDE. Also, while Visual Studio 2010 is still in the early planning phase, it is already scheduled to support a number of open-source projects and tools, mostly from Microsoft or people recruited from the community.

Zander also called JQuery a "good example of open-source contributed code" for Visual Studio 2010. "We will look for opportunities for things like that," Clarke reports.

And in a recent interview with ZDNet UK reporter Colin Barker, Microsoft CRM division general manager Brad Wilson noted how difficult it is to sit in Palo Alto and design a system that will work with every business in the world.

"So the key now is flexibility. How easy is it to add the stuff we need? I think the old model of 10 years ago, where you built a system that had a big slab of stuff that you had to adopt, has gone. At the same time, we will still bring out our accelerators with pre-packaged software, and more and more of them. But we release them as open source. The idea is that we just put this stuff out there and let people use it. And, if our partners use it, all the better," he said.

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