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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