Microsoft Open Technologies Shuts Down

As the group gets absorbed back into Microsoft, the company will start up a new open source advocacy group, Microsoft Open Technology Programs Office.

Microsoft said that it's absorbing its Microsoft Open Technologies subsidiary that was formed in April 2012 back into the company. A blog post from Open Tech president Jean Paoli said the group accomplished what it set out to do and the time is right to bring its people and efforts back into Microsoft.

"MS Open Tech has reached its key goals, and open source technologies and engineering practices are rapidly becoming mainstream across Microsoft," Paoli said. "It's now time for MS Open Tech to rejoin Microsoft Corp., and help the company take its next steps in deepening its engagement with open source and open standards."

In the past year, Microsoft has extended its push into the open source community more than most ever would have expected. Not that Microsoft is positioning itself as an open source company but it in some way supports every major initiative and has made contributions once unthinkable including its .NET Framework. Mark Russinovich, CTO for Azure, earlier this month raised eyebrows when raising the specter of Microsoft open sourcing Windows saying "it's definitely possible."

"Open source has become a key part of Microsoft's culture," Paoli said in his Friday post. "Microsoft's investments in open source ecosystems and non-Microsoft technologies are stronger than ever, and as we build applications, services, and tools for other platforms, our engineers are more involved in open source projects every day. Today, Microsoft engineers participate in nearly 2,000 open source projects on GitHub and CodePlex combined."

Paoli also noted that Microsoft has brought "first-class support" to Linux and Azure, partnered with Docker to integrate its containers to enable support on Azure and Windows, built Azure HDInsight on Apache Hadoop and Linux and created developer support for open platforms and languages including Android, Node.js and Python. In addition to deep support for Docker, Paoli pointed to integration with other key environments, both open and competing proprietary platforms, notably iOS. Among other projects he noted were contributions to Apache Cordova, Cocos2d-x, OpenJDK, and dash.js, support for  Office 365 on the Moodle learning platform and collaboration on key Web standards including HTML5, HTTP/2 and WebRTC/ORTC.

As Microsoft absorbs MS OpenTech, it will create the Microsoft Open Technology Programs Office, according to Paoli. "Team members will play a broader role in the open advocacy mission with teams across the company," he said. "The Programs Office will scale the learnings and practices in working with open source and open standards that have been developed in MS Open Tech across the whole company. Additionally, the Microsoft Open Technology Programs Office will provide tools and services to help Microsoft teams and engineers engage directly with open source communities, create successful Microsoft open source projects, and streamline the process of accepting community contributions into Microsoft open source projects."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is the editor of 1105 Media's Redmond magazine, an editor-at-large and columnist for Redmond Channel Partner magazine, and author of a blog covering enterprise cloud computing called The Schwartz Cloud Report. Earlier in his tenure with the Enterprise Computing Group of 1105 Media, he held senior editorial postions with Application Development Trends, Visual Studio Magazine and Redmond Developer News. He has covered all aspects of enterprise IT for more than two decades and has spent much of that time writing about mobile computing technology. Before joining 1105 Media’s Enterprise Computing group, he held several senior editorial roles with such publications as VARBusiness (now part of CRN), InternetWeek and CommunicationsWeek.

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