There are other indications that the often-hostile relations between Microsoft and the open-source community are thawing, as Microsoft continues to reach out and open new dialogue with the most prominent members of the open-source community. As first reported in eWEEK, Microsoft invited Michael Tiemann, president of the Open Source Initiative and vice president of open-source affairs at Linux vendor Red Hat Inc., to meet and start a constructive dialogue.If Microsoft wants to collaborate with the OSDL and the open-source community, the company should start working to ensure that Linux and Windows work better together, said some open-source software users. A good place to start would be for Microsoft to publish, in an unencumbered form, the information necessary for third-party software to interoperate fully with products like Office and Exchange, said Con Zyaris, CEO of Cybersource Pty. Ltd., an open-source solutions company in Melbourne, Australia. "Most businesses will end up running a combination of proprietary and open-source software. By joining with the open-source industry and working toward reducing the interoperability headaches between the two, Microsoft can help its own customers as well as make it easier for users to select and move to the platform that is best suited to them," he said. Most of the efforts toward improving interoperability between open-source software and the Microsoft platforms have been shouldered by the open-source community. "Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl, Sendmail, PostgreSQL, Firefox, OpenOffice.org and several thousand other open-source technologies have been ported to run on Windows. In comparison, Microsoft has not made any effort to bring any of its major technologies, such as Exchange, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer or SQL Server, to Linux," Zyaris said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Earlier this year, Microsofts Smith also extended an olive branch to the open-source community, asking for a meeting to see how his company could better work with the community.