Posted by Frédéric Aatz
Director of Interoperability, Microsoft France

Alfonso Castro
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft Open Solutions Group

Last week we were fortunate to participate in Open World Forum, a leading global summit focused on how we’re collectively building our digital future in an open and transparent manner. We’ve gathered together our recap of the Forum’s three days of sharing, thinking and coding with some of the top contributors to open technology initiatives from around the world.

 
This was Microsoft’s second year at the Forum as an official sponsor. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to connect with a broad range of organizations and individuals to share best practices and discuss IT market trends.
 
We were there alongside our partner for the last six years, SUSE. Together we celebrated our working relationship by announcing a new combined offering – a platform for joint assessment that our customers can use to evaluate and map out cost effective solutions to manage and control their mixed IT environments. This partnership further serves to distill and underline the true essence of our commitment to openness – delivering strong interoperability, services and support to our customers, no matter what platform they ultimately choose.

Ralf Flaxa, Vice President of Engineering at SUSE, spoke very candidly about the flourishing relationship with Microsoft, admitting that some had initial doubts when they first saw the company (originally Novell) pairing up with Microsoft. But he emphasized the fact that after six years, the partnership is in very good shape and continues to grow. The feeling’s mutual, Ralf!

Alfonso also spoke during one of the Forum keynotes, speaking to Microsoft’s continued push toward greater openness for our customers, and our ever-expanding list of collaborations and initiatives. From our support for Linux as a first-class guest on Windows Server Hyper-V, to our already-mentioned work with SUSE and support for Linux distributions like CentOS and Ubuntu on Windows Azure Virtual Machines, we take pride in working together with open source communities. 
 
The Forum also gave us the chance to meet with a variety of open source startups and partners to share and highlight the capabilities of our Windows Azure platform to meet their (and their customers’) needs in the cloud. It’s been just a few months since the launch of the Windows Azure customer preview this past spring, so it was great to speak with so many ISVs, startups, and partners, who have begun using Windows Azure and wanted to share their experiences, or who are considering making the transition to the cloud soon. Craig Kitterman from the Windows Azure team and our Azure ‘evangelists’ engaged in many discussions to provide attendees with an in-depth look at what Microsoft’s cloud platform can do for them. We, alongside Craig, are featured in the interview from last week that’s embedded below, discussing Microsoft’s openness strategy and how we’re going about fulfilling it.

This year’s Open World Forum brought forth great discussions and great moments, with great people. Let us know your favorite stories from this year’s Forum in the comments below. We hope to meet up with you next year!