Microsoft opens to open source technologies


IT job seekers with a passion for open source technologies ought to consider working for Microsoft, implies a new article. In “Microsoft’s renewed embrace of developers, developers, developers, developers”, Peter Bright reports:

The new Microsoft is developer-focused in a way that it wasn’t before. The company is working to embrace to a wider range of developers, meeting them where they are and working much more closely with them to improve the company’s products. This level of interaction between Microsoft and developers on its platforms is not something that existed in the Windows-focused past.

But is it making a difference? Is it restoring the relevance that Redmond once had, and are these non-Windows developer communities even interested in what Microsoft has to offer?

Sea change won’t happen overnight. Microsoft has a considerable reputation for being enormously hostile to open source and emphasizing Windows at all costs. These things don’t engender much goodwill from the communities that the company is trying to engage with. The comments on articles here at Ars illustrate that perfectly; WSL news is invariably met with comments of “embrace, extend, extinguish,” and reports on Microsoft’s open source efforts are met with similar cynicism. There’s a lack of belief that Microsoft, of all companies, can “do” open source, and that it can do open source in a community-oriented, developer-friendly kind of a way. And there are still a few people living with their parents in Wyoming working on Star Trek fanfic.

But Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for the Cloud and Enterprise group, tells us that he’s seeing signs of a shift, albeit using some non-traditional metrics. Guthrie reads Hacker News and looks at the comments there, noting that the commenters are “opinionated, and aren’t shy about sharing their opinions.” And in his view, not only are there more posts about Microsoft technologies “than there have ever been,” the comments are, remarkably, “usually very positive.”


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