Openness@Microsoft

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

February, 2013

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Turning Big Data into Big Insights

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Big Data WeekBig data is the term increasingly used to describe the process of applying serious computing power, even the latest in machine learning and artificial intelligence, to massive and often highly complex sets of information. This week 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.

    What exactly is big data? It’s data that is so large, so complex or collected at such a fast pace that it challenges the capabilities of traditional data management systems. Any organization that looks at their current data infrastructure and sees a significant shift in the volume, variety or velocity of data is experiencing big data.

    “Our daily lives generate an enormous collection of data,” said Dan Vesset, Program Vice President of IDC's Business Analytics research. “Whether you’re surfing the Web, shopping at the store, driving your smart car around town, boarding an airplane, visiting a doctor, attending class at university, each day you are generating a variety of data. A lot of the ultimate potential is in the ability to discover potential connections, and to predict potential outcomes in a way that wasn’t really possible before. Before, you only looked at these things in hindsight.”

    In other words, there may be oceans of data out there, but making it into something you can use, particularly in real-time, is another matter entirely.

  • Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server, Team Foundation Service, and Visual Studio 2012 Now Support Git

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    This week, we welcomed developers from around the world to our campus in Redmond to take part in our annual ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) Summit. While the three day event covers a lot of ground, from DevOps to testing, we wanted to highlight some particularly good news from Microsoft Technical Fellow, Brian Harry, who announced that Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server and Team Foundation Service (TFS) now supports Git, the version control system used by a growing number of open source initiatives and projects. He also revealed that a plugin for Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 (VS) is available to enable Git support.

    As Brian mentioned in his own blog about the news, this is a “big milestone for us” and a major step forward for Microsoft as we continue to highlight the interoperability and openness opportunities that exist between us and OSS companies and communities. To learn about more the specific details behind the support for Git across TFS and VS, check out the Channel 9 video below, as well as the update from Gianugo Rabellino and the Microsoft Open Technologies team. And let us know what other projects you’d like to see Microsoft take part in, via the comments below.

  • 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”.