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Microsoft Likes Interoperability, It Really Likes It!

In 2001 if you said Microsoft was the enemy of interoperability I'd have to clink your glass and pour you another. If you said the same thing today I'd look at you crosswise and pour your beer out on the floor. The company is not perfect in this regard, and its aggressive stand on patents is perhaps the best bad example -- but it is doing far, far better.

Look at its support for XML, HTML5, file formats that work with OpenOffice (not perfect but not bad), IPv6, Java support and Linux interoperability.

You have to at least give Microsoft a "not bad," if not kick 'em some heavy-duty kudos.

That's why I am taking the announcement of a new Microsoft subsidiary aimed solely at open source interoperability with such seriousness.

Called Microsoft Open Technologies Inc., the subsidiary was launched scant days after Microsoft was named one of the top contributors to the Linux kernel. The new group is run by Jean Paoli, who is one of the creators of XML 1.0. Not a bad resume filler.

Paoli's group hopes to speed the release of open source software (probably mostly as a contributor, not as a sole author I'd guess) and become a more active member of key projects.

As I am being drawn more into the world of open source, I'm gaining a whole new vocabulary, like Joomla, Hadoop and Drupal. These things all sound like exotic sauces to me.

Am I giving Microsoft too much credit for its interoperability efforts, or has its tiger traded in its stripes for a pussycat's soft fur? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/13/2012 at 1:19 PM


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