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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

April 12, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Microsoft creates new subsidiary focused on open-source community

Microsoft is creating a new wholly owned subsidiary, Microsoft Open Technologies, focused on working with the open-source community.

While other business groups within Microsoft will continue to work with open-source and open-standards communities, the subsidiary “will make it easier and faster to iterate and release open source software, participate in existing open source efforts, and accept contributions from the community,” according to a company news release.

The new subsidiary will be headed by Jean Paoli, one of the co-creators of the XML 1.0 standard with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), who will serve as president.

Paoli wrote in an official blog post that his existing interoperability strategy team will form the nucleus of the new subsidiary.

“Today, thousands of open standards are supported by Microsoft and many open source environments, including Linux, Hadoop, MongoDB, Drupal, Joomla and others, run on our platform,” Paoli wrote.

That’s quite a change from some 10 years ago when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked the Chicago Sun-Times: “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Just this month, the nonprofit Linux Foundation released a report saying that, for the first time, Microsoft is on a list of companies that are contributing to the Linux kernel, ranked at No. 17.

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