Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/07/04/microsoft_books_linuxworld_stand/

Microsoft books LinuxWorld stand in bid for ‘dialogue’

Nixon in China?

By John Lettice

Posted in Software, 4th July 2002 12:10 GMT

Microsoft is to exhibit at LinuxWorld Expo this August, and it appears that the company wants to be nice. Yesterday, Linux Today spotted the Beast's presence on the Expo exhibitor list, and after publicising this was contacted by an apparently kinder, gentler Microsoft.

In the shape of Peter Houston, senior director of the Windows Server Product Management Group, who got in touch and explained that it's all about dialogue. The audience is important to Microsoft, and showing up is a first step "towards forming an ongoing dialog with members of the Linux and Open Source community."

Microsoft's contributions to the Open Source movement have generally consisted of comparing it to cancer and/or communism, so Houston's claim that the company now wants to talk is a significant turnaround. Not, of course, that he has a great deal of choice in the matter.

Say you were the Great Satan's elected representative for LinuxWorld, and you were going to have to man a stand in the midst of thousands of potentially ravening geeks come August. Would you be handing out inflamatory literature, or smiling a lot and saying you want to talk? (Best stash some cool toys for the natives round the back, just in case, Peter.) ®

Related stories:
Full Linux Today story, in which Houston says 'dialog' a lot