Microsoft gets a new open-source chief

Microsoft just promoted Sam Ramji into a role that will give him more oversight of Microsoft's open-source activities.

Sam Ramji just got a promotion: Sam will now be running Microsoft's worldwide open-source and Linux team (roughly 120 people and counting).

Sam had been the director of Microsoft's open-source software lab. In this new role, he'll continue to oversee the lab but also take on a more strategic role within the company (and, by extension, within the industry).

I've known Sam for a few years now, and both like and respect him. We've had enough disagreements for me to know that while he's an active open-source proponent, he's not easily swayed by anemic reasoning (for or against Microsoft). He's a guy who recently told me that he has run Office 2003 and World of Warcraft on CrossOver (WINE) on Ubuntu (verdict: performance "not too bad"). He has an open-source-friendly background.

Sam's promotion is good for Microsoft. It's also good for open source, as I see him as a credible, earnest advocate for open source within Microsoft. He has earned his stripes within commercial and community-based open-source projects. I've heard some of open source's oldest advocates praise his name.

Let the constructive dialogue begin (or, rather, continue).

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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