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Tuesday 5 August 2008

Some things changes, some don't

This quote I remember from the movie Matrix Reloaded is really the best I could find to describe this post, even if it will mostly focus on something changing: Microsoft's stance towards Free and Open Source Software.

Of course, years spent thrashing FOSS and comparing the GPL to cancer can't be forgotten that rapidly. Old reflexes remain. But it seems clear things are changing.

And I was very surprised to experience it myself when I heard from Dirk Tombeur that Microsoft will be the Gold sponsor of the ERP event by Profoss. I had already met Dirk at Profoss events, but I saw his presence as a need for Microsoft to keep an eye on the competition. Becoming the Gold Sponsor of a Profoss event is clearly another approach.

It seems Microsoft is changing, and starts to understand that the IT world is more heterogeneous than it would have liked some years ago. Keeping its stance of some years ago can only lead it to irrelevance.

Of course Microsoft is a company, and as such is always looking to generate revenue. But now, it seems to be interested to also generate revenue with FOSS. They're working on IronRuby, worked on PHP performance on Windows, submitted 2 licenses to OSI, became Apache sponsor, ....

But let's hope this is only the beginning. There's still a lot Microsoft should do for Open Source.....

Before I finish writing this post, let me quicly talk about something that is not changing: Profoss' focus on informing objectively about the use of Free and Open Source Software in professional environments.

Really, some things change, some don't.....

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