Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab: An Open Source Bubble in a Sea of Microsoft

April 7, 2006

It makes sense and it seems to be well thought out. Below are my picks from Part 1 of the lab’s mission statement.

In short, the lab is one of a few such facilities in the world dedicated to open source research.

“Both Windows and open source software will continue to be around for years to come, so it’s important that we test and analyze interoperability with open source software even if we may sometimes compete with some of this software – this is the real world where mixed environments exist,? says Hilf. “Coopetition – cooperating and competing – is part of the real world. Customers exist in the real world so we focus on what they care about, not what people philosophize about.?

“We’re out to find the science that proves or disproves the statements made about open source software, so that we don’t need to guess or draw abstract conclusions,? says Hilf. “By being a center of knowledge and competency, we’re able to provide hard facts to Microsoft product teams when they ask questions on the state of management for open source software or the state of a certain open source application.?

“We run dozens of different versions of Linux to test open-source interoperability in a multitude of scenarios,? says Hilf. “And because we do everything on our own, from running our own network and security services to patching and updating, our environment mimics those of real customers.? If a Microsoft product makes it through this lab, it will probably survive in 90 percent of the UNIX, Linux and open source customer environments out there.?

Bill Hilf, General Manager of Platform Strategy at Microsoft and in charge of the lab says:

Licensing restrictions permitting we analyze and benchmark open source software in areas where Microsoft competes or has an interest. We share those results with other teams at Microsoft, who use the data to determine how we can improve our own products.

but as a research lab on open source they might consider sharing what they can share with the open source community about their findings. Understanding interoperability between Microsoft products and open source software is one of the lab’s primary roles and to join the making of open source with original contribution is the hands-on approach.
Conversation is a way to contribute, of course, and the labs is well positioned in this sense.

The second part of the tour is coming out on the week of 4/10/06 or 10/4/06 or 06/4/10.😉
Via Robert Scoble.

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