The Business of Open Source

by Sandy Gupta on November 05, 2009 09:25am

I am blogging from ApacheCon here in Oakland, where the Apache Software Foundation its celebrating its 10th anniversary. Congratulations to the Apache community and cheers to the next ten! 

Our focus at Microsoft is to make Windows Server a platform choice for both closed source and open source solutions. Many of our customers who run open source on our server platforms pick open source built in the "Apache Way". And so, participation in the Apache communities is important for us and we continue to support the Apache community through our ongoing platinum sponsorship of both the ASF and ApacheCon.

Microsoft also has a sizeable contingent on the ground here at ApacheCon that is delivering technical talks, presenting at BarCamp Apache, giving Lightening talks, participating in MeetUps and, more importantly, learning more about the projects in the Apache community so we can identify opportunities for greater participation.

Yesterday, I participated on a business panel titled: "The Business of Open Source - Power, Prestige, and Propulsion," which was moderated by Sally Khudairi and included Hewlett-Packard's Scott Lamons, Progress Software's Debbie Moynihan, and RedMonk's Michael Coté. The panel was incredibly engaging - in fact, one of the best panels I have ever participated in.

It was very dynamic, there was great audience interaction, and a range of interesting topics were covered.  There was consensus on how customers are taking a pragmatic approach and using a mix of closed and open source software based on the value it has for their business and not based on a religious choice.

We also talked about how there is a lot of open source happening on Windows Server, and there is an opportunity to improve on best practices/understanding of open source development on Windows Server and sandbox infrastructure for all Apache projects. We also had a vibrant discussion regarding release cycles: how can open communities make it more attractive to corporations to offer project manager time so as to help move the project along, keep to deadlines, etc. I hope to be able to participate in more panels like this as there is so much to discuss!

As you know, Microsoft is already participating in many ASF projects like HBase, Stonehenge, QPid, and POI, and we are giving demos around these projects at our booth here as well as on the Eclipse plug-ins for Azure and Silverlight announced at the recent Eclipse Summit.

Enabling our customers to run open source solutions on Windows Server is important for us. It is great to see many business groups in Microsoft are now participating in Open Source projects in areas where they see there is a common value for our customers.

Congratulations once again to the entire Apache Community for a great decade, and here's looking forward to the next one!

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