Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Microsoft Open Source Lab...

posted by Scott Roche

The idea that MS has an open source lab strikes me as more than a little funny. The notion that they would want to help Mozilla Corp. ensure that their products, Firefox (IE alternative) and Thunderbird (email client), will work with Windows Vista makes me a little suspicious. Nevertheless that's what's going on.

Sam Ramji, the director of the lab, said he had set aside office space for open-source developers and would make Microsoft engineers available to Firefox and Thunderbird coders.

"As part of my mission as an advocate for open source applications on Windows, I've gotten spaces set aside at the Windows Vista Readiness ISV Lab," wrote Ramji.

"The lab itself is a 4-day event held in Redmond every week through December 2006; we provide secure office space for 4 people, hardware, VPN access, and 1:1 access to product team developers and support staff," he added.

Ramji also said that although Microsoft had invited only commercial developers to such labs in the past, "I'm committed to evolving our thinking beyond commercial companies to include open source projects
- InformationWeek

I guess on the one hand they want to make sure that these products won't crash Windows (not that it needs any help). And I would imagine they would also want to shed their image as a greedy monopoly wannabe. Bravo to Ramji and I hope this sort of change continues.

So what're you waiting for? Go download the Mozilla stuff. You won't be sorry you did.


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