Microsoft on Open Source, OData, the Web and the Cloud at OSBC


Microsoft was once again at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) held at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on March 17-18, 2010. As  Platinum Sponsors, there was good presence by quite a few softies at the event, as attendees and delivering sessions.

Stuart McKee, Microsoft's National Technology Officer for the United States, delivered a keynote address to attendees titled "Open Source at Microsoft: Meeting customer, developer and partner needs through a diversified ecosystem". McKee talked about the opportunities for open source applications interoperating with Microsoft platforms. From Windows, to SharePoint to Azure, and how increased flexibility and choice for the consumers of these technologies is good for everyone involved. McKee shared how internally Microsoft is changing and responding to a call from customers who demand a diverse ecosystem that includes open source. McKee gave examples of software from Apache, the MySQL database, and PHP all running on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform. Microsoft in recent years has been endorsing open source via efforts such as sponsoring the Apache Foundation. The Microsoft-backed CodePlex Foundation, meanwhile, was set up last year as an effort to enable collaboration between open source communities and software companies. “More than ever, we are continuing to improve interoperability with open source products and platforms in addition to working with customers looking to optimize their mixed IT environments. Interoperability is important not only for the business world, but also for state and local governments. That's because the business of government is really about outcomes, regardless of how solutions are created," McKee said.

Brian Goldfarb, the Director of Developer Platforms at Microsoft, participated on a panel titled "The Web Is the Platform," along with Dion Almaer from Palm and Dave Mcallister at Adobe. Mark Driver from Gartner moderated. It was an interesting discussion with most parties agreeing on the web as a platform that provides opportunity for companies to build business models, use different approaches and how open source plays a very strong part in that vision. Goldfarb shared how the Microsoft /web site for the Microsoft Web platform, features 23 open source applications out of a total of 25 applications. They include software from popular open source companies such as Acquia Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, Umbraco, DotNetNuke, You can find them and more listed in the gallery.

It was also great to see the folks at Geeknet at the Bird-of-a-Feather (BOF) talking about how Open Source on Windows is steadily climbing. 82% about 350,000 projects are Windows compatible and that is not a small number and fabulous news for those of us working with diverse languages and in mixed environments. These guys know something about the community considering they run sites like SourceForge, Slashdot, ThinkGeek, Ohloh, and freshmeat with over 40 million geeks visiting them.

Other notable presentations …

Tim O’Reilly, who is always fun to listen to, in a thought provoking session title “The Real Open Source Opportunity”, talked about how the future is about data and open access to it. It will be interesting on seeing how all the systems share and make sense of all the signal from the noise. I feel the work we are doing with and the cloud can play a big role on helping make this happen.

Justin Erenkrantz, the President of the Apache Software Foundation, which we are working on a few things on, gave a presentation on “Writing and Distributing Software "the Apache Way" which should make it’s way up on his talks links soon.

Matt Aslett, Analyst at The 451 Group presented  “From Support Services to Software Services – The Evolution of Open Source Business Strategies” around research regarding the best ways to make money from open source software and combining commercial and community interests.Matt, if you’re reading this,  it was nice chatting with you at lunch!

Jono Bacon's session 'Unwrapping The Community Manager Talk" was one to catch and I’m looking forward to getting his slides too. At the same time as Jono’s session Matt Asay had a panel session too,  and there was some nice rivalry on who would fill their rooms first 🙂 btw Who won? Jono, where are your slides?

It was great to also see partners from the Interop Vendor Alliance, WS02 (nice to see you Jonathan and Devaka!) and Red Hat too!

Tweets about OSBC provide interesting commentary!

I’m looking forward to EclipseCon in Santa Clara next week, where we’ll share some more news around interoperability with open source projects. Maybe I’ll catch you there?

Jas Sandhu , @jassand

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