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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 21, 2007 at 2:08 PM

Microsoft’s open source saga

I wish I was in San Francisco today for Microsoft’s open-source business development forum.

As part of a new effort to build partnerships with early-stage software companies, Microsoft is pitching itself to open-source entrepreneurs at an all-day forum tied to the Open Source Business Conference this week.

The agenda gives you a sense of Microsoft’s pitch:

We have an excellent track record helping independant software vendors (ISVs) become profitable on the Microsoft Windows platform, regardless of their development model. What’s more, developing Windows-based solutions opens your business up to a much larger market and significant new sales channels.

That’s why we are launching this new initiative exclusively for open source solution providers. At this event we will demonstrate how you can develop business solutions on Windows to provide greater choice to your customers, expand your potential market, and how we can best make that happen together.

The conversations ought to be rich, after all the recent patent hubbub.

I came across links to the event at the Microsoft open-source lab’s Port 25 blog, which has become a must-read if you’re following the patent twists and turns.

For instance, Bill Hilf and Sam Ramji finally posted a detailed response to the Fortune story late Friday. The nut graph:

“It’s not us versus the free world. It’s about commercial companies working together around IP issues — it’s business as usual.”

That may not convince the amateur/enthusiast crowd. The first commenter accused Microsoft of trying to “marginalize the ‘garageband’ programer” with its patent licensing, but it may seem reasonable to the business-development types meeting in San Francisco.

Comments | Topics: Microsoft, Open source

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