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Microsoft tightens open-source links with server biz

Productization, ahoy

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The Microsoft group dealing directly with open-source projects is joining the company's server business.

The Open Source Technology Center is to work more directly with Microsoft's Windows server and solutions division under corporate vice president Bill Laing.

The move comes as the person who oversaw OSTC, Microsoft's director of Platform Strategy in Microsoft's Server and Tools organization Sam Ramji, said he is leaving Microsoft for what he called personal reasons. Ramji joined Microsoft in 2004 from BEA Systems, where he'd been a director of market development.

Ramji noted Microsoft is actively recruiting a replacement to lead the overall platform and server strategy. The OSTC itself will continue to be directed by Tom Hanrahan, formerly the Linux Foundation's director of engineering, under Laing.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg that OSTC: "Is becoming more closely integrated with the Windows Server engineering team."

That sounds like the work the group did making Linux and open source work on Windows will now be more directly related to the engineering work building Microsoft's Windows products. Under Ramji, Microsoft worked with community projects and developers to tune PHP, JBoss, MySQL, SugarCRM, and others to Windows Server.

The company realized a while back that ignoring open-source and failing to improve the way open-source code runs on Windows would leave the ground open to deployments on Linux, thereby hurting its Windows business.

Recently, OSTC in particular developed three Linux drivers to enhance the performance and management of Linux running as a virtualized guest on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V server.

The drivers encapsulated this work. Released to the GPL, the drivers also landed the company in hot water for apparently being in breach of the GPL's terms. ®

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