Microsoft — or at least part of Microsoft — continues its quest to persuade open-source developers that Windows should be on their short-list of platforms. You know, right up there with Linux.
Sam Ramji, the Microsoft guy whose job it is to mend fences and foster collaboration with open-source ISVs and other partners points to progress.
Exhibit A: Ramji — his formal title is director of platform technology strategy — will keynote at this spring’s EclipseCon conference. Not traditionally a big venue for Microsoft execs.
Exhibit B: Nearly a third (30 percent) of SugarCRM’s business is now on Windows, he says. SugarCRM is the open-source CRM pioneer. Two years ago Microsoft and SugarCRM inked a technical collaboration pact.
Exhibit C: Of the 140,000-some-odd applications on the Sourceforge repository some 77,000 now run on Windows, Ramji says. Admittedly, a large number of that 140,000 are probably dead apps, but why quibble?
Ramji also points to the fact that IIS now supports PHP development. And the final release of a SQL Server driver that will let PHP talk to SQL Server 2005 and 2008 should be available for download alter this year.
Microsoft has made some good moves to soothe open sourcers’ qualms about the company and its occasional legal saber rattling. It hired Tom Hanrahan, former director of engineering at the Linux Foundation to direct Microsoft’s Linux Interoperability Labs.
Still there are gaping holes. Microsoft is pushing to get every app possible to run on Windows becuase that’s good for Microsoft. What it’s not saying is when Office will run on Linux. Ideas? Anyone? Is it really so outrageous to even ask the question?
Ramji and team may have their hearts in the right place about peaceful and fruitful coexistence of open source and Microsoft stacks. But the question is Microsoft overall and whether its defense of intellectual property rights (aka patents) is antithetical to open source.
In the real world people run both open-source and Microsoft stacks — and partners supporting them must know how to ensure the dual-stack works. So they have to watch what, Ramji’s team — as well as Microsoft writ large — are doing.
For more on open source and channel opportunities see this story.
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