Microsoft Learns from Open

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-06-12 Print this article Print

Source"> Microsofts plan for increased outreach to the Linux and open-source community is not restricted to products like Windows 2003 Compute Cluster Server, which includes open-source technology, but also applies across other major product lines, according to Muglia. "The world is complicated enough and we need to find ways to work with everyone. … You will be seeing a lot more of this in the future from us," Muglia said, declining to be more specific. Red Hats recent acquisition of JBoss has not changed the competitive landscape for Microsoft in any way, Muglia said, adding that Red Hat did a good job of pulling together a broad set of open-source technologies from a lot of inconsistent distributions for its customers.
"Thats probably a good thing. And it is the nature of open source in that it always kind of aggregates," he said.
Click here to read about the use of open-source technology in Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003. Asked what Microsoft had learned from the open-source community and what it could still learn, he said the development methodologies are very interesting, and in fact Microsoft has made community development process a standard part of its process. "There were definite learnings for us on that. Open source was way ahead of us on that five years ago and we have learned from them. This whole thing where Microsoft is an open blog environment is about us trying to really embrace these existing trends that are very important in the industry and to being open to our communities across all of our products. Fascinating things happen there. That model is the way of the future and were embracing it," he said. He also said the disconnected, distributed nature of that development process was fascinating to Microsoft, which still has a lot to learn in that area, and that while this is an effective model in some ways, it is also less effective in others. Historically, Microsoft had effectively kept everyone on a project within a square-mile radius of Redmond, and there were real benefits to that, he said, adding that there were also benefits to having access to workers around the world and their talents and creativity. "We are still learning from the open community how to do that, and we probably have more to learn there," he said, adding that Microsoft intends to keep Softricity, which it plans to acquire, in Boston, so as to tap into all the things that were happening in that region. But the challenge is that integration is tough in a distributed environment, and architectural boundaries have to be set up between components, which is a good thing, he said. Now Microsoft plans to do as much of that as it can in the future. Open source, on the other hand, historically has had a tough time building integrated solutions in that distributed fashion, Muglia said, and, "Our customers demand that from us. So there are certain things we have to do that are core to our development and our customers that we cant learn from open source because they are not doing that." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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