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I recently returned from Paris, where I attended both the annual Open Source Think Tank and Open World Forum events. It was really great getting to chat with some of the folks representing the myriad of businesses that have sprung up around Open Source solutions, and having some in-depth discussions about broad industry trends.
The Open Source Think Tank is pretty much a unique event in that it gives attendees the opportunity to examine open source and cloud evolution through detailed analysis and discussions of specific industry related case studies, as well as panels, presentations and networking opportunities with a collaborative group of folks from across the industry.
For its part Open World Forum brings together hundreds of decision-makers, developers and users from across the world to discuss Open technological, business and societal initiatives to help shape the digital future
I was happy to be able to participate in a number of panel discussions at both events. At the Think Tank, I got to brainstorm on the topic of “Open Source Ethos as an Agent of Change," which essentially looked at how closed source companies use the open source ethos to energize their companies and change how they relate to their customers, partners and employees. I was joined by Erynn Petersen of AOL and Gil Yehuda of Yahoo, and a lively conversation ensued.
From a Microsoft perspective I pointed out how we recognize the value of openness in working with a diverse array of OSS communities to help developers, customers and partners succeed in today's heterogeneous IT environments.
I noted that we now have a better appreciation for how the open source development model can be useful for our own software development as well as the potential for Microsoft technologies to be great platforms for open source applications. I also briefly talked about our increased investments in standards, interoperability and integration with Open Source Software.
The second Think Tank discussion revolved around Open Source, Open Systems and Open Standards and what that means today. Larry Augustin from SugarCRM and Yahoo's Gil Yehuda also participated, and a lively discussion ensued, a lot of which was way off topic :-)