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Microsoft Open Technologies Formed To Address Interoperability

Microsoft announced today that it is forming a wholly owned subsidiary to handle its open source interoperability efforts.

Microsoft Open Technologies Inc., as the new subsidiary is called, will be headed by Jean Paoli, Microsoft's general manager for interoperability strategy. Paoli, who is a co-creator of the XML 1.0 standard in conjunction with the Worldwide Web Consortium standards body, becomes president of the new subsidiary.

Having this subsidiary in place will "make it easier and faster to iterate and release open source software, participate in existing open source efforts, and accept contributions from the community," Paoli explained in a blog post. It's not exactly clear from Paoli's comments why such an organization would function better as a subsidiary. Paoli said that his "existing Interoperability Strategy team" would serve as the core of the new entity.

According to Paoli, the change further demonstrates "Microsoft's long-term commitment to interoperability, greater openness, and to working with open source communities." He said that Microsoft is continuing with its open source coordination with groups such as the Apache Software Foundation and the Outercurve Foundation.

Microsoft currently supports Windows interoperability with various open source technologies. Paoli cited Drupal, Joomla, Hadoop, MongoDB and Linux as just a few. He noted that Microsoft is working with the Distributed Management Task Force and OASIS on interoperable cloud technologies. Microsoft supports multiple languages, such as Java, PHP and Node.js, as well as .NET, on its Window Azure cloud computing platform, he added.

Microsoft has been gradually ramping up its open source interoperability efforts, including a global outreach effort conducted by its interoperability strategy team, which was launched last year. Some of the company's early efforts were greeted with skepticism, such as its alliance with Novell on Windows interoperability with SuSE Linux Enterprise, in which Microsoft also sold intellectual property "peace of mind" -- essentially promising not to sue organizations using the SuSE Linux Enterprise operating system. The skepticism was apparent at the time since few other Linux OS providers joined this joint licensing and interoperability effort.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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