Microsoft Pulls Open-Source Unit Back Into the Fold

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-04-18 Print this article Print
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Sam Ramji, CEO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation and a former senior director of platform strategy at Microsoft, where he led the company's worldwide open-source and Linux strategy, said this move was not unexpected.

"It's smart—MS OT was an island and now the work of open source engineering is rejoining the mainland," Ramji said. "I see this as the mainstreaming of open source engineering at Microsoft. Those engineers are going into product teams like Azure."

"I have actually been expecting something like this to happen," said IDC analyst Al Hilwa. "In light of the new Microsoft, which is becoming a much more open company as a whole, this move makes sense. Open source is now a lot more pervasive at Microsoft, and the company has switched from fighting it a few years ago to embracing it and building on it today. The team at Open Tech has been instrumental in driving this change from inside and out."

Indeed it has. As Paoli pointed out: "During its operation, MS Open Tech has helped connect Microsoft with a number of open source communities. MS Open Tech's projects have made it easier for Linux, Java, and other developers to use Azure, through SDKs, tools plug-ins, and integration with technologies such as Chef, Puppet, and Docker. We've helped bring Microsoft's services and APIs to iOS and Android. We've contributed to open source projects such as Apache Cordova, Cocos2d-x, OpenJDK, and dash.js. We've brought Office 365 to the Moodle learning platform. And we've helped connect the Open Web by collaborating with the industry on standards for HTML5, HTTP/2, and WebRTC/ORTC."

Prior to MS Open Tech, Paoli led a group known as the Microsoft Interoperability Strategy team, which worked closely with many business groups on numerous standards initiatives across Microsoft. That group formed the core of MS Open Tech. That team worked on issues such as the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) HTML5, the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) HTTP 2.0, cloud standards in the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Systems (OASIS), and in many open-source environments such as Node.js, MongoDB and Phonegap/Cordova.

MS Open Tech staff will continue their roles inside Microsoft. "As MS Open Tech rejoins Microsoft, team members will play a broader role in the open advocacy mission with teams across the company, including the creation of the Microsoft Open Technology Programs Office," Paoli said. "The Programs Office will scale the learnings and practices in working with open source and open standards that have been developed in MS Open Tech across the whole company."



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