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Microsoft promotes top IP officer

Horacio Gutierrez, a leading figure in Microsoft's open-source efforts, taking an increasingly active role in its intellectual-property strategy, just got a promotion to corporate vice president.

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, just got a promotion to corporate vice president, as reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Gutierrez, who has taken an increasingly active role in Microsoft's intellectual-property strategy since moving back from Paris a few years ago, where he had served as Microsoft's associate general counsel for Europe, Middle East and Africa (and where I first met him for hot chocolate and coffee), is well-known to the open-source crowd for his involvement in Microsoft's accusations in 2007 that Linux violates 235 of Microsoft's patents.

This, however, doesn't give a complete picture of Gutierrez, whose work has been more far-reaching and, on balance, much more positive for open source within Microsoft.

Gutierrez has been taking a more prominent role in helping Microsoft to figure out how to navigate interoperability issues with open-source vendors and communities. While I've criticized some of his positions in this area, Gutierrez is genuine in wanting to work with open source.

In fact, "genuine" is a great way to describe Gutierrez, generally. He's a wonderful person while simultaneously an intelligent and tough competitor. He's a credit to Microsoft and well-deserving of this promotion.

Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.