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

June, 2012

  • Driving Interoperability with the SMB Open Specifications

    Posted by Darryl Welch
    Principal Program Manager, Windows Server Interoperability Engineering Team

    Last week, 40 representatives from 17 companies and organizations joined us at Microsoft’s Platform Adoption Center to participate in the Windows File Sharing Protocols “Plugfest”.  These plugfests provide software developers with the opportunity to learn more about Microsoft protocols and to improve and enhance their implementations of the Microsoft Open Specifications. This particular event focused on implementations of SMB, SMB2, and the new SMB 3.0 capabilities, which along with their predecessor CIFS, are the most widely-used file-access protocols in the world.

    A critical aspect of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 development is the ecosystem dedicated to shipping SMB 3.0 capable systems. We have been working closely with these vendors and open source collaborators by proactively providing extensive protocol documentation and participating in plugfest-type events to provide opportunities for testing and feedback. The SMB ecosystem now reaches all the way to key server applications such as Microsoft SQL Server and Windows Server Hyper-V to ensure that SMB 3.0 capabilities are fully leveraged all the way through the stack, and across the multivendor network.  The Plugfest last week continued to move these efforts forward.

    During our conversations last week, Chris Hertel reflected on his more than fifteen years of work to implement CIFS, SMB, and related protocols to improve interoperability.  He remarked on how far Microsoft has come in its efforts to work with open source developers and providers.  Hertel, writing for the Samba Team in a Samba blog post said, "Microsoft is now at the forefront of efforts to build a stronger community and improve interoperability in the SMB world."

  • Microsoft and The Open Group Release Open Management Infrastructure

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Datacenters comprise a slew of heterogeneous devices supplied by different hardware and platform vendors and requiring different tools and management processes.  Companies are forced to write their own abstraction layer or to be locked into a single vendor, which limits their choice and agility.  Today, Microsoft and The Open Group are addressing these challenges with a new, free, open source technology called Open Management Infrastructure or OMI (formerly known as NanoWBEM). 

    The public availability of OMI means that you can now easily compile and implement a standards-based management service into any device or platform from a free open source package. Our goals are to remove all obstacles that stand in the way of implementing standards-based management so that every device in the world can be managed in a clear, consistent, coherent way and to nurture and spur a rich ecosystem of standards-based management products.

    The Windows Server blog has more information on this announcement and on how standards-based management has evolved (see the post by Jeffrey Snover, Otto Helweg and Wassim Fayed) or you can join the community and download OMI on the new community site.

  • Microsoft’s on{X} for Android: Start Automating Daily Life

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Smartphones have quickly become the central hub for business, social networking, personal tasks and so much more.  And for smartphone users who always keep their devices ready to be in hand and at work instantly – to call up a colleague, pick a spot to eat, pass the time commuting – the smartphone can be considered an essential, portable, multitasking assistant. A new app for Google Android-powered smartphones has been launched by Microsoft called on{X} (currently in beta release), which utilizes a JavaScript API to allow for the creation of various rules that can then trigger automated actions. Want to check the weather at a certain time every day or dim your device’s screen when the battery only has a 15 percent charge?  Simply set a “recipe” in the on{X} app – “when X happens, do Y” (i.e., on{X} do{Y}).  You can even publish your rules so that other on{X} users can try out and build upon your recipe.

  • Windows Azure at GigaOm Structure

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Early today, Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business (STB) participated in an onstage fireside chat moderated by Derrick Harris, GigaOm senior writer, at the GigaOm Structure event. Nadella discussed cloud trends, Microsoft’s cloud strategy, and specific examples that highlight the openness of the Windows Azure platform, including Apache Hadoop support

    Speaking to Windows Azure’s ability to support multiple languages and frameworks, Nadella said, "You can be on the Mac, use Node [Node.js] to build a first-class Azure app, you can be in Python, you can be in PHP...Obviously, we have Linux in terms of a guest operating system. This all adds to the flexibility and richness of the platform." 

    You can view the complete fireside chat and GigaOm's coverage here.

  • Skype 4.0 for Linux

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Skype 4.0 for Linux has arrived! Version 4.0 has four major enhancements, along with a host of smaller ones, offering Linux users the latest in Skype features and many UI improvements. The four big updates are:

    • A new Conversations View where users can easily track all of their chats in a unified window;
    • A brand new Call View makes it quicker and easier to get on a call;
    • Call quality is better than ever thanks to several audio quality improvements; and
    • Similarly, video call quality has improved and there is support for more cameras.

    This release extends Microsoft’s commitment to support Skype across multiple platforms and devices. Visit the Skype blog for more details on all the improvements that Linux fans can now enjoy and try the new version of Skype for Linux here.