Sunday, December 21, 2008

Microsoft reverses course, becomes more open to open-source community

When Microsoft Corp. bought Powerset Inc. in July, it acquired more than just search engine technology. It also became the owner of open-source code that was -- and still is -- being contributed to the Apache Software Foundation's Hadoop project.

Having open-source technology in a product was a first for Microsoft, said Robert Duffner, a senior director in the company's platform strategy group. Also in July, Microsoft began providing internally developed code to an open-source project called ADOdb, which produces a database abstraction library for the PHP and Python scripting languages.

Via such moves, the platform strategy unit is pushing the software vendor not only to accept that its products need to interoperate with open-source technology, but also to view the latter as beneficial to its business goals.

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