Linux Foundation on Collaborating with Microsoft

Lora Bentley

InfoWorld posted a rather lengthy interview with Linux Foundation executive director, Jim Zemlin, on Wednesday. Editor-at-Large Paul Krill covered everything from the foundation's role in the life of the open source operating system kernel to virtualization and security enhancements.


But what interests me most is a section in the middle where Krill asks Zemlin about Microsoft's overtures toward Linux and the open source movement generally. Zemlin says:

...[T]hey realize that there's been a fundamental shift in how companies create innovative products and compete in the marketplace. And companies are doing that through open and mass collaboration....Microsoft is having a hard time competing in that environment.

He goes on to note he thinks that's why Microsoft has opened its protocols and is working with organizations like the Eclipse Foundation to improve interoperability between Microsoft products and certain open source projects. Though the Linux Foundation has no specific plans to collaborate with Microsoft in that way, Zemlin says, the organization would welcome the opportunity. Here's what his ideal would be:

We'd like to have a place where developers can come and work on making Linux more effectively interoperate with Microsoft products. And we'd like to do that in the open-source way that's not tied to any specific marketing agreement, that's not tied to any specific contract...

The pessimist in me says there's no way Microsoft will agree to something like that, but I've been proved wrong more than once in that department. Stay tuned.

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