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

February, 2013

  • Open Source and the Cloud: Interview with Erica Brescia, BitRock’s CEO

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    The community of several hundred thousand BitNami users enjoys free, ready-to-run environments for their favorite open source web apps, deployed on the desktop, virtual machines, or in the cloud. Open source apps like WordPress and SugarCRM can be up and running in minutes with minimal hassle and cost. The beauty of BitNami is that this process is easy for anyone, not just developers — in fact, business users make up a large portion of its audience.

    In January we blogged about how BitRock, the company behind BitNami, is involved with VM Depot, which is a community-driven catalog of open source virtual machine images for Windows Azure. VM Depot includes preconfigured operating systems, applications, and development stacks. Simply find your favorite open source software and deploy it in minutes, or join the community, build a virtual machine image, and share it with others.

    We were eager to follow up and share more from BitRock CEO, Erica Brescia. Erica had revealing insights on her company’s cloud offering, how it’s sometimes good to be the only woman at a tech conference, and how she’s still impressed with how Microsoft execs did an Ubuntu demo at the Windows Azure launch event:

    Can you give our readers an overview of BitRock and BitNami?

    BitRock is the company behind BitNami, which is essentially an app store for server software. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to deploy their favorite server software anywhere. Hundreds of thousands of people visit our site monthly to discover and launch open source apps such as SugarCRM, Liferay, Drupal, Wordpress, Redmine and more than 50 others. All of our app packages are provided free of charge and are completely ready to run. In just minutes, people of all technical skill levels can have apps up and running and ready to use – no manual configuration required.

  • Your Complete Office in the Cloud: Office 365 for Business Available Today

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Today Microsoft announced our latest release of Microsoft Office 365 for business. In addition to updated Microsoft Lync Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online services, business users can now get the rich Office applications they are familiar with, delivered as an always up-to-date cloud service, on up to five devices.

    As we blogged about last month, the five devices can be PCs, Macs, or tablets, and installations can be easily transferred to new devices as needed, giving users virtually anywhere access to their Office tools.

    “With Office 365, everyone from large enterprises to small businesses to individual consumers can now benefit from the power of Office and the connectivity of the cloud,” said Microsoft Office Division President Kurt DelBene. “This release unlocks new scenarios and delivers capabilities that far surpass anything available in browser-only solutions.”

  • Open Source Geo-Enabled Templates for Windows 8

    Posted by Nik Garkusha
    Open Platforms Lead, Microsoft Canada

    With all the open data that’s been made available by cities, states and countries worldwide, it makes sense to explore new ways to connect that data into various apps. At many Microsoft-hosted events, including this week’s Make Web Not War Hackathon, the objective is just that – to explore these new scenarios offered by open data and find ways to translate it into powerful apps and visualizations. 

    This open data trend is increasingly relevant because of the substantial value in judiciously sharing data as a means to transform government services delivery. By enabling access to the data, individuals are empowered to draw their own conclusions and use the data to engage in their communities.

    Last week I blogged about two perfect examples of Windows 8 apps that harness the power of open data and support community engagement, specifically the geo-enabled open source templates “Finder” and “Hero”.

  • Openness Customer Spotlight: Windows Azure Helps Bring Teletica Back Online Amid Disaster

    Posted by Yuri Porras
    Manager, New Technology, Microsoft Costa Rica

    When disaster struck the picturesque nation of Costa Rica in the form of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake back in September 2012, the population was in shock and the nation’s infrastructure was damaged. The website of Teletica, one of the nation’s largest and most prominent communications companies, was quickly overwhelmed by user traffic as people in the country and around the world logged on to obtain and share information following the devastation.

    Unable to keep up with the volume of traffic, and finding their patches and quick-fixes insufficient to get the website back up, Teletica’s IT staff was at a loss as to how to proceed. That’s when they called Microsoft.

    Within 45 minutes, they were able to deploy Windows Azure’s flexible resource allocation and open source hosting abilities to get the website back up and running. Additionally, Windows Azure’s interoperability enabled Teletica to develop and launch an open source mapping application that allowed users to post pictures and videos showing the conditions around the country in the wake of the disaster.

    Teletica video


  • Microsoft Brings Together Big Data Experts for “Date Night”

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    As we blogged about earlier this week, Big Data Week at Microsoft is showcasing what customers, partners, and the industry are doing to harness the power of big data to change the way organizations and people do business, discover insights and interact with one another.

    On Wednesday night, Microsoft hosted Big Data Date Night, which brought together 300 big data engineers, analysts and innovators in Silicon Valley to discuss how they’re helping their customers make sense of huge sets of structured and unstructured data, while providing glimpses into the tremendous business opportunities on the horizon. It was a great opportunity for us to swap learnings with leading big data experts and share more about Microsoft’s work to support Hadoop on Windows Azure.

    Conversations focused on how to make data analysis easier for businesses around the world and the work that Microsoft is doing to provide a Hadoop-based solution on Windows Azure that is 100% compatible with Apache Hadoop piqued interest.