Here are two small, but significant moves by Microsoft.
First, the Microsoft Web Installer is making it easier to run open source apps on Windows Server:
The Web Application Installer Beta is designed to help get you get up and running with the most widely used Web Applications freely available for Windows Server.
The Web AI includes popular open source and .NET solutions in Ecommerce, Social and Personal Presence and Content Management. The beta release will include DotNetNuke, Drupal, Gallery, Graffiti, osCommerce, PHPBB, and Wordpress. New applications will be evaluated and added to the Web AI Gallery regularly.
This is part of its move to embrace open source – on the Windows platform.
Alongside that embracing, we have some potential extending:
Few will have noticed, but Microsoft's Jim Kellerman just announced that he and a Microsoft colleague have "been cleared to contribute patches again" to Apache, and specifically to the Hadoop project.
This is how it will go. Purely in order to “improve” the performance of Apache and Hadoop on the Windows platform, Microsoft will helpfully offer some really cool hacks....which will of course only work on the Windows platform.
This will effectively fork the Apache/Hadoop/whatever code – all for the good of their communities. Of course, there may be some “patented” technologies in there, but Microsoft will promise never, ever to sue anyone using this “optimised” open source – cross its heart and hope to die. Look for Microsoft to get involved with other leading open source projects in the same way.
Now, remind me what comes after “embrace, extend”....?