Microsoft Open Port 25 To Hackers

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For once, the correct definition of hackers applies here; the new Port 25 website from Microsoft offers communications from the company’s Open Source Software Lab.

What is a hacker?
Answer: Hacker:
Hacker, in computer science, originally, a computerphile; a person totally engrossed in computer programming and computer technology.
-- courtesy of MSN Search and Instant Answers

Several websites spotted the recent opening of Port 25 at Microsoft. The site features Microsoft’s open source guy, Bill Hilf, and several other contributors who want to promote dialog instead of endless flame wars and posturing that has dominated the open source versus closed source discussions online.

Hilf posted a welcome message to the site, where he credits Jason Matusow and some other guy with prodding him into blogging:

I guess it just took a Slashdot interview and a couple thousand emails (and consistent nudging from friends) to really drive the point home that having a participative discussion around OSS and Microsoft technologies is a good thing, not -as many people may believe- something we want to hide’ or shy away from.

Not unsurprisingly, a number of the responses to Hilf’s post have been solely critical of Microsoft. That approach simply reinforces the perception of the open source community being more interested in narrow-minded zealotry rather than a dialog. It’s not a true measure of those in open source, but sadly the most visible one.

Of course, problems do exist. The Silicon Valley Sleuth site pointed out how Microsoft’s refusal to embrace an open standard in Office, the type of standard an open source lab should understand well, has led to a great deal of political infighting in Massachusetts. So many attacks have taken place that the state’s CIO, Peter Quinn, resigned his position rather than continue to endure them.

Only a handful of items exist on Port 25 today. A couple of descriptions of Microsoft’s open source lab, a couple of interviews, and a couple of posts by the people behind the lab reside there now. As do a number of posts varying in commentary and criticality. Time will tell just what kind of communications and developments will grow from the site.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Microsoft Open Port 25 To Hackers
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