Microsoft @ OSCON 2011: We have become more open, let’s work together!

Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft’s Senior Director for Open Source Communities, just finished delivering his keynote at OSCON in Portland.
As Gianugo is now wandering around the OSCON session and expo floor, I thought it would we useful to give you a quick recap of what he just presented.

During his keynote, Gianugo discussed how both the world and Microsoft are changing, saying that “at Microsoft we continue to evolve our focus to meet the challenging needs on the industry: we are open, more open than you may think.”

Gianugo explained that the frontiers between open source, proprietary and commercial software are becoming more and more of a blur. The point is not about whether you run your IT on an Open Source stack or a commercial stack, the important thing is how you can assemble software components and build solutions on top of them using APIs, protocols and standards.  And the reality is that most IT systems are using heterogeneous components, he said.

Looking at the cloud, the blur is even more opaque. What does Open Source or Commercial mean in the cloud?

Gianugo put it this way: “In the cloud, we see just a continuous, uninterrupted shade of grey, which makes me believe it's probably time to upgrade our vision gear. If we do that, we may understand that we have a challenge ahead of us, and it's a big one: we need to define the new cornerstones of openness in the cloud. And we actually gave it a shot on this very same stage one year ago, when we came up with four interoperability elements of a cloud platform: data portability, standards, ease of migration & deployment, and developer choice.”

Finally, Gianugo talked about how Microsoft’s participation in Open Source communities is real, and he used his keynote as an opportunity to announce a few new projects and updates.

Gianugo Rabellino

One way we interact with open source software is by building technical bridges, Gianugo said, giving an example on the virtualization front: announcing support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 and CentOS 6.0 guest operating systems on Windows Server Hyper-V (which follows this Linux Interoperability  announcement at OSBC a few weeks ago. )

On the cloud development front, we are continuing to improve support for open source languages and runtimes, Gianugo said, announcing the availability of a new version of the Windows Azure SDK for PHP, an open source project which is led by Maarten Balliauw from RealDolmen, where Microsoft is providing funding and technical assistance.

Maarten has all the details on the new features and link to the open source code of the SDK. This announcement also includes a set of cloud rules for the popular PHP_CodeSniffer tool that Microsoft has developed to facilitate the transition of existing PHP applications to Windows Azure. The new set of rules is available on Github.

An on demand Webcast of Gianugo’s keynote will soon be available, and I’ll post the link to it here.


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