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

June, 2012

  • Windows Server Hyper-V drivers now supported in Ubuntu

    Posted by Geoff Sullivan
    Managing Sales Director, Open Solutions Group

    As you may have heard, the recently released Ubuntu 12.04 LTS has been engineered with the drivers needed to run on Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. We are pleased to support customers running Ubuntu on Hyper-V in their virtualized and cloud infrastructure.

  • Spotlight on Microsoft Research: Big Data and Open Science

    Posted by Tony Hey
    Vice President of Microsoft Research Connections

    There is a sea of change happening in science: It’s increasingly being driven by data and computation. The practice of science is now enhanced by collecting and analyzing massive quantities of data rather than small, focused experiments. The data are coming from instruments such as satellites, high-throughput biometric screening systems, networks of sensors and telescopes, as well as massive computer simulations. In this decade we will collect more scientific data than we’ve collected so far in the whole of human history. Soon it will be impossible to do any kind of science without computational tools―and the more advanced and powerful, the better for the scientist and the science.

    Extending the challenge of increasing data quantities is a corresponding need to collaborate across numerous sources and data consumers. This is driving a trend toward open science data, open access to text and publications, open standards, and open collaboration around computational tools that best serve the science community. There’s a unique role right now for the computer science and IT industries to help scientists unleash the value of their data by allowing more contributors to derive insights, and combine and refine data regardless of its scale and complexity. Microsoft Research aims to play a part in this transformation of the scientific discovery process through offering combinations of breakthrough research, software assets, algorithms, and open collaboration to accelerate the process of reaching insight. This post will be the first of a series of profiles that highlight Microsoft Research collaborations in the spirit of open science and innovation.

    Today we’re showcasing a noteworthy example at the intersection of big data analysis and open science. ChronoZoom, an open source community project released earlier this year, has the ambitious goal of presenting the history of everything and is proving to be a vital tool in the evolving field of Big History, which attempts to unify the past – from the beginning of time, some 13.7 billion years ago – with the present. Big History offers a broad understanding of how the past has unfolded, and lets us explore the unifying characteristics that can bridge the intellectual chasm between the humanities and the sciences. The project has been a truly collaborative effort by the University of California, Berkeley, Moscow State University, the Outercurve Foundation, and Microsoft Research Connections. ChronoZoom utilizes Windows Azure, HTML5, JavaScript and a rich user interface to bring the elements of Big History together. It is now available in 2.0 beta for public use, feedback and, ultimately, widespread collaboration. You can learn more about ChronoZoom through this video overview, or experience it firsthand at

  • 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’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.

  • Key Partners Open Up the Cloud with Windows Azure

    Posted by James Utzschneider
    General Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Yesterday, customers had the opportunity to meet Windows Azure and learn more about services in the technical preview that make Windows Azure an even more flexible, open, and powerful cloud platform.  The openness and success of the Windows Azure platform is sustained by an unrivaled ecosystem of partners, providing more choices for customers to transition to the cloud on their terms.

    As part of the technical preview for Windows Azure Virtual Machines, key partners Canonical, OpenLogic, and SUSE are expanding Windows Azure’s infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities by enabling Linux running on persistent virtual machines.  Compatible operating systems and images available through the online gallery now include: OpenLogic CentOS, openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu, and Windows Server.  This is because embracing Linux on our platforms is a real business for us.

    As enterprise adoption of public, private and hybrid cloud computing grows, Microsoft is working with the ecosystem of vendors and communities to deliver cloud solutions to customers based on their specific needs and scenarios. Further, this new Windows Azure service reflects an ongoing commitment to work with the broader Linux community to provide customer choice, including a core group of Linux kernel developers who accepted our code into the community’s staging tree and worked diligently with us to harden and improve it.