Despite losing a key advocate in its open-source efforts, Microsoft's focus on advancing its relationship with the open-source community will continue apace.
Sam Ramji, Microsoft's senior director of Platform Strategy, is leaving the company as of Sept. 25 to become interim president of the CodePlex Foundation, a new independent open-source foundation founded and funded by Microsoft.
In a Sept. 10 blog post, Bill Hilf, general manager of Windows Server Marketing and Platform Strategy, lauded Ramji's efforts and said the work he championed will continue.
"Sam joined my team three years ago to drive open-source technical strategy," Hilf said. "I have eagerly supported him as he passionately articulated a vision that Microsoft could coexist -- and even thrive -- in a heterogeneous IT world."
During a call with reporters to discuss the launch of the CodePlex Foundation, Ramji said the work of his group at Microsoft was going to be "mainstreamed" into the company's overall technological and strategic push.
To that end, Hilf said:
""The perspectives on OSS [open-source software] at Microsoft have evolved to the point where Microsoft's open-source strategy is no longer just locked in a single -lab' on campus - now OSS is an important part of many product groups and strategies across the company. We have become increasingly clear on where we work with open source -- development methodologies, projects, partners, products and communities -- and where our products compete with commercial open-source companies or platforms. Today, there are engineering and business leaders across the company, myself included, looking at how to drive interoperability for customers and as a lever for new growth.""
In addition, Hilf said, "We will not waver in our commitment to open source."
Meanwhile, Ramji said he is making the move for "personal, family reasons" so he can move back to California, where, in addition to assuming the role of interim president of the CodePlex Foundation, he will also take a leadership role at a cloud computing startup.
Also, as Microsoft recognizes the importance of "having that strong internal advocate for open source, we are actively seeking someone to fill Sam's shoes at Microsoft," Hilf said.