Hell Freezes Over: Microsoft Sponsoring Apache

Old open source foe becomes platinum Apache sponsor

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Microsoft made three announcements at the 2008 OSCON in Portland, one of which should be a stunner to anyone who’s followed the company over the past decade.

You remember Microsoft, right? Crushed Netscape and cut off their oxygen, took Kerberos into Windows NT and tweaked it so third party products couldn’t use it for authenticating to a network, fretted about the threat of Linux and plotted ways to disrupt the whole open source movement, you know, that Microsoft?

They’ve gone soft. Bill Gates has barely left the building, and Microsoft has turned into a Brie-munching, pinkie-extending, Pinot Noir-swilling parody of its former self. Heck, can you imagine the Microsoft of old failing to pummel Yahoo into submission before absorbing them into the Redmond arcology?

News out of O’Reilly Publishing’s OSCON via, would you believe it, a keynote by a Microsoft staffer cited three contributions the technology company plans to make to the open source community. Sam Ramji of Microsoft remarked about his keynote at the Port 25 blog, in noting his company’s upcoming plans.

Microsoft intends to enable support for SQL Server through a new ‘native driver for PHP’ built by the SQL Server team, and provide it in the form of a patch update for the ADOdb project. They also plan to move a host of protocols under the Open Specification Promise, and render them free from future patent claims by Microsoft.

Then Ramji offered this kicker. Microsoft will provide funding for the Apache Software Foundation; Ars Technica said this will amount to $100,000 per year, right up there with Google and Yahoo in the platinum sponsorship ring.

For those of you just joining the conversation, Apache’s httpd project developed a web server that made Microsoft’s IIS look like an inept and insecure option for years. To security-minded webmasters, IIS simply wasn’t in the discussion for a long time.

Now, Microsoft will help foot the bill that leads to improving httpd and other open source projects run by Apache. It’s a funny old world, technology.

Hell Freezes Over: Microsoft Sponsoring Apache
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  • Richard Chapman

    Yes, Hell freezes over only because the new Satan prefers the cold.

  • http://www.direito2.com.br Ruben Zevallos Jr.

    As you said MS deleted Netscape and other techs over the years, but now… I think they want to left they foot print at Internet market.

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