Openness key to Microsoft’s strategy

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Openness key to Microsoft’s strategy

"The bottom line is openness is good for our customers, good for the community and good for our business,” Gianugo Rabellino, senior director of open source communities at Microsoft Open Technologies, told Khaleej Times.

By Rohma Sadaqat (reporter)

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Published: Sat 14 Mar 2015, 10:58 PM

Last updated: Fri 26 Jun 2015, 12:16 AM

Dubai — While great strides have been made through Microsoft’s long-term commitment to “openness”, experts recognise the importance of developer engagement to continue on the road to success.

“Openness is an essential element to Microsoft’s Mobile First, Cloud First strategy. The bottom line is openness is good for our customers, good for the community and good for our business,” Gianugo Rabellino, senior director of open source communities at Microsoft Open Technologies, told Khaleej Times.

Little more than a year after Satya Nadella took over as the CEO of Microsoft, Rabellino explained that now, more than ever, Microsoft remains committed for the long-term to openness.

“Satya’s first year was marked by bold decisions that both spurred new directions and helped drive culture change at the company. Under his leadership, Microsoft is building the right experiences to help both organisations and individuals do more and achieve more through the openness of Microsoft platforms,” he said.

“By openness, I am referring to how we partner with the open source community, how we engage with standards bodies that are deciding the rules of an open web, and how we make Microsoft products work with not only with open source but with our competitors,” he explained.

Rabellino added: “Our open source strategy is grounded in the recognition that interoperability is a lever for growth. This involves working to make Windows the platform of choice for customers and developers through enabling open source applications to run better on and with Windows platforms.

We are working with many open source communities to identify valuable opportunities to participate in projects and initiatives, focusing on improved open source application interoperability with our products, and utilising an open source development approach or open source software if it makes sense for specific products and solutions.”

Asked about MS Open Tech, Rabellino revealed that it works closely with many business groups across Microsoft to deliver critical interoperability technologies in collaboration with open source and open standards communities. It’s important to note that Microsoft and its business groups continue to engage with the open source and open standards communities in a variety of ways, he said.

MS Open Tech’s independent structure makes it easier and faster to iterate and release open source software, participate in existing open source efforts, and accept contributions from the community. Over time, the community has seen greater interaction with the open standards and open source worlds. As a result of these efforts, customers have even greater choice and opportunity to bridge Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together in heterogeneous environments.

“Microsoft is working with Google and Mozilla to define the future of the Open Web. Linux is welcome in the Microsoft cloud and Microsoft engineers are actively contributing to supporting the Linux kernel. Developers can use their Macs to build applications for Microsoft devices and services. And we’re even open sourcing more of our own technology, including our .NET Core development platform,” Rabellino said.

Elaborating on Microsoft’s partnership with Moodle, Rabellino noted that Moodle is one of the largest open source learning platforms globally with over 76 million users in 241 countries.

“Microsoft and leading Moodle partner Remote-Learner.net announced integration between Moodle and Microsoft Office 365. This brings a more productive experience to teachers and students by harmonising login credentials, calendar management and course content creation, in addition to other workflow improvements for education institutions and other Moodle users,” he said.

“Moodle has a vibrant open source ecosystem, and we have partnered with Remote-Learner, a recognised leader in the Moodle community, to develop these plugins in the Moodle way. This meant early participation and feedback from the community through a beta program run by Remote-Learner, and ongoing transparency during the development process,” he added.

— rohma@khaleejtimes.com



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