If you’ve been watching the news out of LinuxWorld in Boston this week, I’m guessing that you have taken notice of the continually changing and increasingly commercialized dialogue around Linux and Open Source technologies. Perhaps you also likely took note of Microsoft’s increased presence at this year’s event –  My friend Bill Hilf is taking what I think is an industry leadership role and presenting the first ever Microsoft keynote at a LinuxWorld event.   I’m a big fan of competition as I think it naturally drives innovation and Bill’s keynote at LinuxWorld get’s me jazzed. I think it is further indication that the conversation is changing and a new discussion is developing --   I think this will help bring a more mature, technical discussion, around specific uses of Open Source, the implications of operating in heterogeneous environments, and the need for a more technical exchange on the evolving world of Windows, Linux and Open Source Software.

Bill’s has made some great impact internally at Microsoft and is taking on the role of General Manager of Platform Strategy for Microsoft. In this new challengeing position, Bill will oversee Microsoft’s engagement with customers around the evolving topic of Open Source -- maintaining his current role overseeing our Open Source Software Lab, and expanding his scope to include oversight of the Shared Source Initiative and Platform Value Campaigns.

I know that Bill continues to be keenly focused on the issue of interoperability.  To me this is important as everyone today seems to be working in increasingly heterogeneous IT environments and I’m sure that we can all agree that we need a deeper level of integration, technical analysis and insight.  To help engage the conversation, as part of his key note today, Bill opened Port 25 (port25@technet.com).  Port 25 is a community website designed to facilitate a deeper dialogue around the interoperability issues surrounding Windows, Linux, UNIX and Open Source Software. Port 25 will feature the people, insights and analysis from the Microsoft Open Source Software Lab and allow customers with direct access to the lab staff and the technical research underway in the lab.

Check out http://port25.technet.com , send the link to your IT Pro's and let us know what you think.

Thanks,  John