Microsoft and Open Source: A Step Towards Interoperability

Microsoft recently approached Open Source Development Labs with an offer of co-operation on research. Unfortunately, the kind of joint research that Microsoft proposed is designed to extend the Linux vs. Windows war-of-words, not help users of either platform. Cybersource has an alternate suggestion: it's time for Microsoft to actually do what's best for its own customers and the industry in general, by working towards making Linux and Windows work better together. To date, most of the effort towards improving interoperability between Linux & open source and Microsoft platforms has been shouldered by the open source community. Cybersource CEO Con Zymaris suggests that Microsoft should publish (in an un-encumbered form) the information necessary for third-party software to interoperate fully with Microsoft Office, Exchange, Windows Media codecs etc., stop the 'intellectual property' land-grab on XML schemas, communication protocols and document formats. In order for Linux and Windows to properly interoperate, we need to establish a common 'language', with agreed syntax, forms and rules - this is what schemas, protocols and document formats do. Microsoft has thus-far done its best to subvert that common language with either technical or legal obstructions, causing problems for users. It's time to change tack and assist both Windows and Linux users by working towards interoperability.