Yes — Microsoft’s relationship with the open source community had been, let’s call it, rocky. However, in the past decade, much has changed.  The market, the developer ecosystem, and, yes, Microsoft.   We believe that openness is good for customers, good for the community, good for civic engagement, and good for business.  We put our resources behind that belief.  Let me explain. I have been asking the thought leaders in the local open source community, here in Chicago, about what Microsoft can do to build better linkages between Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies, with a focus on open source.   One of the things that I learned is that Microsoft is doing things in the open source space already that are not widely known.  There is a vague recollection that we have a sizable open tech group (Microsoft OpenTech), but what is not known is the breadth of ways they are powering interoperability through both open standards and open source. Yes, you can fire up Linux environments on Azure, and yes, you can use Eclipse within Visual Studio.  But the open technologies (services, languages, databases, environments, standards, devices, OS’s, etc.) goes so much further. Here is just a small sample of the projects that Microsoft OpenTech has released:

Along with some of the better known projects such as:

I  also encourage you to look at some of our projects in progress.  These projects span cloud apps, developer tools and DevOps, BI and data integration, open web technologies, open sourced VMs, and even apps and games.  And if there are open sourced tools that we need to integrate with, or integrate better with, please tweet me at @MSFTChicago.

Last weekend, I had the good fortune of being a judge for the Urban Sustainability Apps Competition. Created and run by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, this event provided an interesting twist on your typical apps competition and/or hackathon. If you haven’t been to one, hackathons are a great place for like-minded individuals […]

  Earlier this month, I had the fortune to attend the 2014 Personal Democracy Forum in New York.  This is a conference attended by people who think about and discuss how technology and the Internet are changing democracy in America.  The attendees included activists and policy makers, political practitioners and technologists, thinkers and doers.  It […]