Earlier this year, Microsoft made waves at the Open Source Business Conference when general counsel Brad Smith spoke to attendees about software patents. Then Redmond sent Sam Ramji to EclipseCon to explain how and why Microsoft would be working with the Eclipse Foundation.
I said then that the "get-to-know-you dance" going on between Microsoft and the open source community was still quite awkward. News came on Friday, however, that Microsoft is making progress in that arena. The company whose CEO once called the Linux operating system a cancer announced that it is joining the Apache Software Foundation -- and putting its money where its mouth is.
ChannelWEB reported Microsoft has become an official Apache sponsor, handing over $100,000 and donating source code to an Apache project. Though $100,000 is mere pocket change for the software juggernaut, it garners a platinum-level sponsorship and increases the visibility of Microsoft's open source efforts.
News.com's Stephen Shankland suggests the news indicates that worlds are colliding. True. It's also evidence that Microsoft is finally waking up to the reality that the software paradigm has shifted.