Ok, this will be the last entry of summarized comments that relate to this post. I like to end things on a good note, so most of the comments here are of the less interesting/positive variety. No, these were not the only positive responses I received, just some good examples I'm highlighting. If you are still reading and feel that I missed something in my responses feel free to drop me a line and I'll follow up as a reply here or a new post as needed.
I've welcomed the constructive feedback. I, and others at Microsoft have been listening. Reading and responding to all the comments has certainly helped sharpen my attention to details wrt to this issue and also left us with some good ideas that will take a longer time to follow up on.
Best Wishes from Commenters
Caleb Says: "Hi, it's me again. I don't know if you are naive, optimistic or simply trying a cynical image stunt, but I just wanted to add that I sincerely wish you all the best for what you are attempting. I really hope you find the cooperation you are looking for."
I'd like to classify myself as an optimist. Thanks. 🙂
Ron Says: "I certainly hope you don't get fired for your efforts. I like what I see in many of the MSDN blogs and look forward to seeing just how this all develops. Keep up the good work. "
Me too... on both accounts.
Change in Attitude = Attracting Talent?
Devin Says: "At the time, it was anathema for any Microsoftie to even suggest such a thing, so I think this is a good step in the right direction. If I knew for a fact I could go work for MS *and* write OSS code, or work on OSS projects, then I'd be there in a heartbeat. It'd be the best of both worlds."
If we had these projects and found people to be good developers or testers... why wouldn't we see if they wanted to work for us directly? I've talked to a few people who've told me they have made great hires through their connections in the developer community. This would just be another opportunity to form connections. I wonder if this freedom would really be a factor for others deciding if they want to work here? I enjoy my freedom to blog immensely. BTW: There are already other people at Microsoft who also write OSS software. Dare, for example.
Walls that need collapsing
James Says: "great to see this. the walls between open and closed source are coming down. software companies need to do both. i noticed you quoted my business partner and it was interesting because we've spent a lot of time on this: http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/archives/000045.html "
I would help if...
Leon Says: "I am quite interested to see if any of the ideas and suggestions on this blog will be seen by Microsoft developers to put together some sort of suite for the programmer to establish standards and protocols for all to follow....and to be able to quickly deploy feedbacks and benchmarks for the community...what Sun and Helix have over microsoft...i would gladly help with this if there was an actual interaction within the community and the company. Sun and Helix listen to their communities and actually give them feedback for their evolving developments!"
Actual interaction between the company and the community is what my team is all about. 🙂
A Win Win Situation
Mark Says: "This can be a win/win situation for both Microsoft and the open source community. Cost of entry is always going to cause open source developers to USE and DEVELOP free and open software and tools instead of to application suites like Microsoft office, and visual studio. Microsoft may be able to gain the communities support however by accepting source code contributions from the open source community and in turn funding and sponsoring, a project of the open source community's choice, perhaps by popular vote or the like. Microsoft would benefit by extending functionality and be a staunch supporter of open source. The open source community would benefit by having more choice and a better relationship with an industry giant."
Moving in the Right Direction?
Stefan Says: "After reading a bunch of posts from josh... I believe that MS is moving in the right direction in regards to OSS. The right strategy would be to offload non vital technologies to a "pool"/foundation of all MS partners like ISV,OEMs and large system integrators, so that it can be regulated by some form of commercial contract. The benefits would be several:
1) redeployment of precious programming resources onto more important things like LH, Yukon and Whidbey and Windows security.
2) better community, developer and ISV relationships
3) perhaps better products(documentation, testing, less bugs) where software original project was under resourced
4) good PR (why not)"
Ok, that about wraps it up. My job here is done. 🙂