Microsoft, after a contentious history with the open source world, is coming to embrace it. The Linux Foundation recently ranked the Redmond software maker No. 17 among its Top 20 contributors to the Linux kernel.
Now Microsoft has created a subsidiary, Microsoft Open Technologies, to work with open source projects, open standards groups and interoperability initiatives. It’s moving its Interoperability Strategy team — 50 to 75 full — and part-time employees and contractors – to the company, headed by General Manager Jean Paoli, a co-creator of the XML 1.0 standard with the World Wide Web Consortium.
Other business groups within Microsoft will continue to work with open source communities. In a blog post, Paoli wrote:
Today, thousands of open standards are supported by Microsoft and many open source environments including Linux, Hadoop, MongoDB, Drupal, Joomla and others, run on our platform.
The subsidiary provides a new way of engaging in a more clearly defined manner. This new structure will help facilitate the interaction between Microsoft’s proprietary development processes and the company’s open innovation efforts and relationships with open source and open standards communities.
This structure will make it easier and faster to iterate and release open source software, participate in existing open source efforts, and accept contributions from the community.
The subsidiary will be wholly owned by Microsoft with a board of directors coming from other business groups within the company, GeekWire reports. It has yet to be determined whether it will remain at the company’s Redmond, Wash., campus.