Microsoft Learns from Open
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.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.
"Thats probably a good thing. And it is the nature of open source in that it always kind of aggregates," he said.