Microsoft embraces open source -- to a point

The company is expanding its participation in open source endeavors, no longer believes Linux is a 'cancer'

By , InfoWorld |  Software, Microsoft

Rabellino: I'm not aware of any plans in that direction. Just open sourcing isn't quite enough. The problem is what's behind it? So open sourcing without bringing up the developer community and letting people in to contribute, it's just code that you throw every now and then over the wall. Open sourcing without understanding what is the impact on standards and interoperability, is again an effort that nowadays only brings you this far. We've seen a lot of change. Microsoft is increasingly becoming what we call a devices and services company. What we're seeing is that the two worlds are becoming more and more connected.

InfoWorld: Does Microsoft plan to open source any Windows Phone technologies?

Rabellino: I am not aware of any plans.

InfoWorld: I read that Windows Phone is going to have a lot of growth, but it's still going to be way behind Apple iOS and Google Android. Would Microsoft consider some kind of open-source maneuver to get more developer interest, to get more use of Windows Phone?

Rabellino: I don't think that that's where open source can really make a difference. I don't think so. At the end of the day, success in mobile really depends on having a solid, consistent platform, a solid consumer experience in the overall devices. I like our story on the phone, to the tablets, to the crossover devices, to the laptops, to the all-in-ones, to your TV Xbox, all with a consistent interface. I think that this consistency at this point is more important.

tAt the same time, however, there is a point to be made for being open, because we need to get developers. You need to make sure that you have a very solid story when it comes to developers, because they are the ones who make the investment in your platform and they are the ones that care about openness. But let's think about what openness means here. Openness here means having a solid set of reliable APIs. Openness means having everything documented. Openness means being out there for Microsoft and have places where we have a conversation with developers. Microsoft is no stranger to that. MSDN is huge if you think about it.

InfoWorld: Do you think Microsoft is no longer viewed as being the nemesis of open source?

Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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