30 October 2007

Microsoft Buys Open Source (Talent)

I predict we'll see much more of this:

Microsoft has hired the creator of the SubSonic tool set and plans to use SubSonic as a key part of an upcoming platform.


SubSonic will remain under the same MPL (Mozilla Public License) 1.1 license it always has and will remain as completely open source as it always has, he said. "Nothing will change at all," he said. "I'm just getting paid, essentially, to work on it."

Conery said he had been working under contract with Microsoft for about eight months before the company hired him.

He is not the first developer of open-source technology hired by Microsoft to boost its developer division. The company hired John Lam, a Ruby expert, and Jim Hugunin, who delivered an implementation of Python for .Net, among others.

This is a shrewd move for Microsoft, which is following in the footsteps of Google. As Chris DiBona told me recently:

Google has been very public in the fact that we have three primary languages, and that's C++, Java and Python. So as part of that we try to bring on staff people who are the world leaders in those projects - Josh Bloch and Neil Gafter for Java, Guido on Python, Ian Lance Taylor and Matt Austern. We do that because having those people on staff, those projects can continue to move forward, and that's good for us; and also our use of the projects informs the directions sometimes where these projects can go.

So, seeing Linux in an environment like Google informs the direction of Linux in a lot of ways, because you get to see it in an extremely high-load, high-availability environment that you don't really see that often, and you see it on commodity hardware here. So that's really good for the outside world that Andrew [Morton] gets to see that, and that Andrew can really code whatever he wants.

You can't buy love, but you can certainly buy influence.

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