Building bridges

Penguin  I was taking a look at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention page (OSCON is underway this week), and noticed that Microsoft is a Diamond sponsor (apparently that is the level above Platinum, which is better than Gold.  I suppose that Palladium comes next 😉

That would probably relate to the fact that we announced a new site today that covers our efforts as they pertain to Open Source.  The URL is easy to remember...

I am glad to see our efforts of interfacing with the Open Source community continuing to grow stronger.  For perspective on how far we have come, I point you to the following posting by Eric S. Raymond (open source luminary and author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar) in 2004 (

FURTHER UPDATE: I had my serious, constructive converstation [sic] with Microsoft last year, when a midlevel exec named Steven Walli took me out to dinner at OSCON 2004 and asked, in so many words, “How can we not be evil?” And I told him — open up your file formats (including Word and multimedia), support open technical standards instead of sabotaging them, license your patents under royalty-free, paperwork-free terms.

Opening up our file formats?

Supporting open standards?

  • The Zune supports Windows Media (of course), MP3, and AAC
  • Our Management products (System Center) are moving to a standards (and XML) based language to promote interoperability


  • multiple browsers and platforms (including OS X and Firefox) with our new .NET based Silverlight Runtime
  • dynamic languages (including Ruby and Python) in .NET environments

Working with competitors to increase interoperability?

Supporting Linux distributions on our Virtualization Platform?

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 (update 7)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 (update 8)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 (update 4)
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.0
  • Solaris 10
  • Red Hat Linux 9.0
  • SuSE Linux 9.3
  • SuSE Linux 10.0
  • SuSE Linux 10.1
  • SuSE Linux 10.2

So... how are we doing?  Are we less evil yet?  🙂

Other OSS at Microsoft links:

  • Port 25 – Open Source Software Lab at Microsoft
  • Codeplex – Microsoft’s open source project hosting site
  • Shared Source – Microsoft’s set of programs for sharing source code with customers, partners, governments, researchers, etc.
  • John Lam’s Blog – MS Developer, good blogs on IronRuby, Dynamic Language Runtime, Silverlight, etc.
  • Microsoft Open Source ISV Forum – offer for OSS ISVs through Microsoft Partner Program
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