I've been quiet on this blog for the last few months because I've taken on a new role at Microsoft: Open Source Technical Strategy. At this point, some of you are thinking:
a) I'm joking
b) I'm crazy
c) I've joined a dark conspiracy
But in fact the truth is:
d) none of the above
As Director of Platform Technology Strategy (official title), I run the Open Source Software Lab at Microsoft, where we have hundreds of physical and virtual servers running 40+ distributions of Linux, 12+ variant of Unix, and several versions of Windows. The research projects we do run from testing interoperability of network protocols like IPSEC and IPv6 between Linux and and Windows technology, the user experience and technical capabilities of HPC projects like ROCKS and Ganglia, to the broader attributes like size of developer base and changes in the development model for different Open Source projects.
We're also working with JBoss and SugarCRM on optimizing their open source applications for Microsoft infrastructure like Windows Server and SQL Server. This has been fun, rewarding work that has helped to demonstrate the truth of our statements about working with Open Source.
Finally, I'm active in the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative, where I am responsible for Technical Strategy. We are seeing some great work from inside the company - teams from all product groups wanting to contribute to Open Source in some way. This week, Microsoft launched CodePlex in beta. CodePlex is a developer community infrastructure hosted by Microsoft on behalf of Open Source developers - a place for code from both Microsoft product teams and the community to reside and for the developers themselves to collaborate. Currently a dozen projects are there, ranging from IronPython to the Commerce Starter Kit.
I have a new blog at http://port25.technet.com, a site we've built to have a constructive dialog on Open Source, Interoperability, and Microsoft.
Change is coming and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I'm particularly grateful to people like Andrew Aitken, Mary Coleman, and Matt Asay for what they taught me about Open Source and the Open Source community.