Open dialogue about standards, open source, and interoperability at Microsoft

April, 2011

  • Standards 101: Openness and choice are crucial

    Posted by Steve Mutkoski
    Senior Standards Strategist

    As Craig Shank mentioned in a post last week, standards are an important part of a dynamic ICT marketplace, fostering interoperability, collaboration, competition and consumer trust.

    I’d like to follow up on that post, highlighting the fact that the enablers of a dynamic ICT marketplace are openness and choice. 

    To provide solutions that span products and technologies for our customers’ needs, it’s crucial to have a healthy and robust standards environment. Some will say that one development or standards model or another is the best or most valid, but at Microsoft we believe that openness in standards development is the best way to ensure that everyone’s needs are met, whether those needs are rapid innovation, broad adoption, cost efficiency, or specific customer requirements. And we believe that openness in how standards are developed and implemented leads to greater choice in the marketplace. Likewise, we believe that an open marketplace is the best way to determine the success of a standard—companies and customers will choose to use the standards that meet their needs, not because they are all that’s available through government mandate or regulation.

  • Standards that open doors: Interoperability, collaboration, competition and consumer benefits in the standards system

    Posted by Craig Shank
    General Manager, Interoperability & Standards

    I’m Craig Shank, and I work in Microsoft’s Interoperability Group. 

    In addition to our work on standards and interoperability across Microsoft’s product teams and with stakeholders in the industry worldwide, we have the pleasure of working with James Utzschneider’s team, the hosts of the Openness@Microsoft blog.  I’m excited to join James, Ted and others in sharing our thoughts on some of the key collaborations needed to make products and services work together across the ICT marketplace

    With that in mind, let’s talk a little about Microsoft’s dual role in standardization.  We actively contribute innovative technology to standards bodies in many technology areas, ranging from accessibility technologies to key web capabilities in HTML5, to core networking standards.  In addition, as we develop our products, from Windows to Xbox and beyond, we implement thousands of technology standards that are formulated by a broad array of standards bodies.  This balance – sitting on both sides of the standards fence – frames our perspective:  a diverse standards ecosystem that supports multiple technologies is good for the industry, good for global economic growth, and most important of all, good for customers in the ICT marketplace.
  • Where is the puck moving next? Working with Hosters to deliver Cloud

    Posted by Sandy Gupta
    General Manager, Strategy, Open Solutions Group

    I know I am not the only one that often spends time thinking about where the puck is going next; wondering about how the industry is going to work together to anticipate tomorrow's challenges in serving up the cloud.

    After spending the last couple of weeks participating in the World Hosters Day in Rust Germany, Microsoft Hosting Days in Madrid, Milan and Munich and the Microsoft Hosting Summit back home in Bellevue, Washington, I know that I am not alone in thinking about this. Attending these events has verified for me that Web Hosters will drive adoption of Cloud services over the next three years. And I am happy to report that we are working closely with our partners, and even competitors, to help these Hosters serve the needs of their customers around the world.

    So why do I believe that Hosters are going to drive adoption of cloud services?

  • A Look Back and a Look Forward: Meeting Customer Needs Remains the Secret to Our Success

    Posted by Geoff Sullivan
    Managing Sales Director, Open Solutions Group

    Many people are surprised when they hear how much progress Microsoft and Novell have made in their efforts around Linux/Windows interoperability.

    When we announced our ground breaking agreement in November 2006, there was no shortage of skeptics. Some technical experts predicted that our proposed interoperability with SUSE Linux would prove to be strong on slide-ware and marketing fluff but short on execution.

    We set up a dedicated interoperability lab in Cambridge, and even made contributions to the Linux kernel. This has led us to where are today: We have Windows Server Hyper-V managing virtualized SUSE applications and System Center Operations Manager discovering, managing and updating Linux servers.

    And by virtue of the work done in Office 14, Microsoft and Novell are trading Microsoft Office documents and Open Office documents on a daily basis. When I stop to consider the progress we’ve made, it is hard to imagine that we were ever worried about what our joint development could accomplish from a technical standpoint.