Thursday, April 06, 2006

Microsoft Launches Linux Site

Microsoft Thursday launched a Web site that touts its open-source development efforts, and Windows' interoperability with Unix and Linux.

Port 25 -- the site's named after the server port used to listen for SMTP e-mail traffic -- is an attempt to promote conversations about Microsoft, open source, and how the twain might meet.
Sponsored by the Redmond, Wash. developer's Open Source Software Lab, which is headed by long-time Linux guy Bill Hilf -- formerly of IBM but now Microsoft's general manager of platform technology strategy -- the site will offer blogs and other content on the OSSL's efforts.

"This will be the place we not only blog, but also where we put analysis from our OSS labs and also where we discuss and show other parts of Microsoft that we think are just plain cool," wrote Hilf on a welcome blog. "I think what you’ll see here over time is how a bunch of open source guys inside Microsoft think."

Opening-day content consisted of blogs by several Labs' researchers, and an article about the OSSL, which houses more than 300 servers running 15+ versions of Unix and 50 Linux distributions.

Hilf is also in charge of the controversial "Get the Facts" anti-Linux PR campaign, and Microsoft's Shared Source, an initiative that gives developers access to some of its source code.
"Overall, I am impressed with the concept (caveat: assuming Microsoft sticks with it)," wrote JupiterResearch analyst Joe Wilcox on his Microsoft Monitor blog. "If Get the Facts is a stick, Port 25 is the carrot."

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