Open Source at Microsoft

“In 1995, Microsoft was the company that missed the Internet. In 2005, I don’t think you could say that. It was the company that missed open-source. In 2015, I don’t think you’re going to be able to say that. That’s my vision and the timeline I’m working on.”

After relaying an anecdote about taking the IIS PM aside, showing him Apache running things 10x faster and having him say, “No, no, that’s just not possible”, Sam said, “Sometimes we have to take people aside and tell them that their baby is ugly.” This mission comes down from Steve Ballmer — rubbing it in our noses when open-source is better than our product — and we take it seriously.

Sam spent a lot of time talking about how Microsoft wants to play nice with OSS, they want to interop to please the customer, but the audience didn’t let him off easy. Many folks asked heated questions about Samba / SMB2, lack of Vista interop with OS X, and so forth. Sam did a good of parrying and generally keeping his composure. Finally when he was backed into a corner he said, “Look, its not 2015 yet, but we’re trying to improve and we’ll get there.”

Open Source at Microsoft.