Muglia: Open source to permeate Microsoft

The software giant used to call open-source software a cancer, but now it plans to embed open-source into most of its products, according to executive Bob Muglia.

Open-source entrepreneurs like Sun Microsystems' Zack Urlocker and Cloudera's Mike Olson were on parade on Wednesday at the Stanford Accel Symposium, but the biggest open-source announcement of all came from Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business.

Bob Muglia

Alfresco CTO John Newton was twittering the event and posted these comments from Bob Muglia's presentation:

At some point, almost all our product(s) will have open source in (them).

If MySQL (or) Linux do a better job for you, of course you should use those products.

The reality is that more and more of Microsoft's products already do include open-source software (including MSN Messenger and Visual Studio), but it's still refreshing to hear Microsoft acknowledge what most enterprise software companies--including proprietary software companies with much to lose from open source--already know: open source is mainstream.

In 2006, Gartner talked about the importance of code reuse, a phenomenon perfectly suited for open source. Microsoft, by acknowledging that it would rather borrow some open-source code than reinvent every software wheel, is simply being pragmatic.

Open source is not the "cancer" that Microsoft used to call it. It's just a great, efficient way to develop and distribute software.

Welcome to reality, Microsoft. We've been patiently waiting for you to arrive.

Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.

Tech Culture
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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