At last weeks Linux-World conference Microsoft

announced the launch of Port25, it’s new website to communicate with the

OpenSource community on the topic of Microsoft’s interoperability

efforts. Microsoft’s ‘Open Source Software Lab’ houses over 300 servers

which run more than 15 types of Unix and 50 different distributions of Linux;

In charge of the lab is Bill Hilf, he previously worked with IBM and was key to

driving their Linux technical strategy for emerging markets.

There has been a lot of suspicion of Microsoft’s motives for launching this

project, and for housing an Open Source Lab at all. The claimed reason is

to better understand and aid integration of Microsoft and Open Source

technologies. Reading the blog comments and posts from site visitors,

it’s mainly negative. Good points are raised:

How can this be taken seriously when they think NetBSD is a Linux distribution?

Why should the Open Source community help Microsoft when Microsoft doesn’t help


If Microsoft wanted to aid interoperability why not make IE follow w3c

standards? Make protocol information available to projects such as Samba


If interoperability is a serious goal, how about giving Microsoft Office users

the chance to save in the Open Document Format?

The site is a little sparse on content so we’ll just have to wait and see what

the outcome is.

Take a look for yourself: