Microsoft Reaches Out to Open-Source Community

It appears that Microsoft is reaching out to the Open Source Community. While my immediate response was something along the lines of “What are they up to now?”, after reading the entire article and thinking about it for a bit – I think they may be genuinely interested. Why? First, the culture over there has slowly been changing. With a company the size of MSFT this may take a long time, but it's a change that is coming from the inside out. That is, developers within the company are leading the drive. I've talked to numerous Microsoft employees at recent conferences that really some to “get it” and that's encouraging. Second, I think at a higher up level they are starting to realize that, from a business perspective, it's in their best interest to cooperate at this point. They aren't going to be able to squash this Open Source thing as easily as they probably thought they could. There is finally a case where cooperating may help them ship more units and it appears they may be willing to do so. I'd guess it's the middle tier in the company that will be the last to understand all this, but isn't that what you'd expect? So, in the end I would welcome open dialog. In fact, if anyone from Microsoft reads this, I'd even be willing to participate in open dialog. One final note, if you really want to “extend an olive branch”, how about proving that you are serious this time? Opening up document formats would be an outstanding start.

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