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

November, 2012

  • Microsoft Pairs Up with LinuxCon Europe

    Posted by Alfonso Castro
    Director of Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft Open Solutions Group

    Microsoft takes part in a range of open source events and gatherings around the world as a way to facilitate face to face discussions with our open source colleagues and help create greater synergies that will ultimately bring real benefits to customers, no matter their preferred platforms or unique needs. I’ve been lucky to be at many of these events, and this week I’ve been in Barcelona for LinuxCon Europe 2012 to talk about Linux and Windows Azure.

    Microsoft is proud to sponsor this year’s show, which represents a great opportunity for us to further share our belief that interoperability is key for today’s IT environments, big and small. This is especially true with the continued growth of the cloud and customers’ desires to use cloud-based systems to produce results at potentially lower costs. Combine this with Linux and its strong community of vendors and users, and it makes even clearer sense as to why we’re striving to increase our openness across platforms, including Windows Azure.

  • Connect to More Friends with Skype 4.1 for Linux

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    As Skype continues to grow in popularity, so does the number of ways that users can connect with friends new and old, regardless of what operating systems or devices they prefer. Last week’s Skype 4.1 for Linux release included several interoperability updates that help Linux-based Skype fans connect with more friends across their existing accounts and services.

    Users can now sign into Skype for Linux via their Microsoft account and seamlessly send and share messages with friends logged into Xbox, Hotmail, Messenger or And for fans of instant messaging, the new update offers Linux users the first-ever native solution to IM friends with Messenger straight from Skype – no other client required!

  • Lifting Mobile Apps Into the Cloud with Windows Azure Mobile Service

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    The proliferation of tablets and smartphones, especially as ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) programs are established at companies worldwide, means that employees have the flexibility to work on projects wherever they choose – office, home, or in between. The evolution of the cloud is enabling employees to have their essential applications available on demand, across their favorite devices.

    With Windows Azure Mobile Services, we’ve made connecting your client and mobile applications to a scalable cloud backend incredibility easy. Since the preview release this summer, we’ve added a number of updates to extend cross-platform support and third party interoperability, including support for connecting iOS devices to Windows Azure Mobile Services, authentication options for Google, Twitter and Facebook, and more.

    The native iOS libraries are ready for download on GitHub, under the same open source (Apache 2.0) license as the rest of the Windows Azure SDK. Developers can create brand new apps for iOS (including iPhones and iPads) or port existing iOS apps to Windows Azure Mobile Services in minutes.

    Check out the official Windows Azure blog for complete details on all of the capabilities included in the Mobile Services update. Let us know in the comments if you’ve already checked out the new features, and what else you’d like to see added down the line. [Hint: stay tuned for updates on Android support!]



  • Open Source Frameworks Unveil Support for Windows Phone 8

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Last week’s //build/ 2012 conference highlighted how developers can take advantage of their existing skills and favorite languages and frameworks to extend their market reach and bring great apps to the Windows 8 platform. There was a spotlight on the newly launched Windows Phone 8 Developer Platform, which is now supported by several popular open source and cross-platform frameworks.

    In order to achieve the vision of Windows Phone as  “the world’s most personal smartphone”, Microsoft relies on a talented developer ecosystem that is fueled by companies, communities, and people who are creating offerings and resources to help these developers quickly and easily build or port apps for Windows Phone.

    We were fortunate to work with many open source communities leading up to last week’s platform launch. Popular tools and frameworks like Apache Cordova (known as PhoneGap), Sencha Touch 2, jQuery Mobile, and several others are providing choice and expanding market opportunity for Windows Phone developers.

    “Nearly 50% of Sencha customers have expressed interest in building apps for Windows Phone 8 in the next 6 to 12 months,” said Abraham Elias, CTO of Sencha Inc. “Supporting Windows Phone 8 is a natural choice for Sencha to enable our customers to build universal apps for mobile devices.”

    This extended support by diverse open source and cross-platform frameworks was made possible in part by new features in Windows Phone 8, namely native C++ programming and Internet Explorer 10 expanded HTML5 support.

    For more details on how developers can get started with these frameworks today, check out the Interoperability @ Microsoft blog. Let us know in the comments what Windows Phone 8 apps you’d like to see in the future.

  • Openness Partner Spotlight: Microsoft and SUSE Supporting Interoperability from the Datacenter to the Cloud

    Posted by Alfonso Castro
    Director of Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft Open Solutions Group

    Most customers we speak with today operate heterogeneous IT environments and just want everything to work well together – whether they need to optimize existing investments or are interested in adopting new technologies along the way. One of Microsoft’s ongoing goals is to ensure that our technologies can meet these evolving customer needs whatever their platform preference.

    We’ve been fortunate to work side-by-side with SUSE – a 20-year veteran in this space – to make this goal a reality, delivering unified solutions, integrated tools, and first-class support for mixed Windows and Linux environments.

    Since 2006, the Microsoft-SUSE alliance has helped more than 900 customers benefit from joint efforts to improve interoperability and support between Windows and Linux. We extended this agreement through 2016 and remain committed to working in tandem on solutions that help our customers manage critical workloads in mixed-source environments.

    We recently caught up with Christoph Thiel, project manager at SUSE Engineering, to learn more about the long-standing connection between SUSE and Microsoft and how the relationship has evolved.