Bill Hilf signs up for unpopularity

I feel for Bill. I really do.

I feel for Bill Hilf. I really do. I like him immensely - he's a good, decent person. He's someone with whom I like to talk. He's intelligent, rational, and has a sense of humor.

He's going to need every one of those qualities as he takes on his added responsibility of Windows Server Marketing. Granted, Bill has already been at the forefront of Microsoft's marketing efforts if you define marketing as "PR."

But he's also had the chance to play 'good guy' to Ballmer's inane commentary on open source . That's about to change.

Bill can handle it. But I like him too much to take any pleasure in the pain he's about to go through. You can't serve two masters and open source, unfortunately, seems to give Microsoft fits. Bill won't be able to straddle the fence that Ballmer insists on placing between Microsoft and open source. That's a painful place to be.

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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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