Microsoft Corporation takes its time to embrace a new thing but once they do, they make sure they are super successful at it. They weren’t the first in operating systems or office applications or business applications or browsers or in any number of things. But once they entered each of these fields, they have proven to be super successful in each of them. The company and leadership have exhibited a remarkable ability in that, many times, they come to a conclusion or decision but don’t think twice about changing that decision either when the market proves them wrong OR when the market dynamics change.
The same goes for open source. Even as recently as 4 to 5 years ago, Microsoft was not exactly a fan of open source. However, as this new way of ‘collaborating’, ‘building’, and ‘distributing’ software has caught on and become all pervasive, the company has changed its approach. In the last 2 to 3 years, they have been very aggressive promoters of open source: sponsoring open source events; making it easy for open source applications to run on the Microsoft stack; supporting and working with open source projects (including DotNetNuke) in various capacities, etc.
Even the perceptible change in mindset at Microsoft is impressive. As recently as last year, I was at the OSBC event in San Francisco organized by Sam Ramji’s group. The way Microsoft Corp. went about gathering feedback at the end of the session and how open they were to both positive and negative feedback was very impressive. They were more ‘open and receptive’ to suggestions and input than most open source companies.
This new mindset and these activities have very recently culminated in the creation of an open source foundation, the CodePlex Foundation. My hearty congratulations and good wishes go out to Sam Ramji, Bill Staples and the team at Microsoft for having started on this journey.
I am also very pleased to inform all of you that my colleague and business partner Shaun Walker has been invited to be a Director of the Interim Board at the CodePlex Foundation. In the last couple of years, I have worked very closely with Shaun, talking to him 4 to 6 times a week and exchanging emails and IMs 50 times a day. As some of you are aware, Shaun combines an incisive mind with a very open and direct communication style and a strong adherence to fundamental values and philosophy. It is a combination that is very well suited to open source and a combination that has been instrumental in the current size and success of the DotNetNuke community and ecosystem. I believe it is a combination that will be helpful in defining the objectives, the organization, and the structure of the foundation to ensure its success.
My hearty congratulations and good wishes to Shaun Walker!