updated 09:10 pm EDT, Thu April 12, 2012
Group formed by Interoperability Strategy team
Microsoft has reportedly formed a new subsidiary that will focus on open-source projects and open standards. The subsidiary, labeled Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. and formed by the company's Interoperability Strategy team, is said to be staffed by a group of 50 to 75 employees and headed by Microsoft executive Jean Paoli.
In an interview with GeekWire, Paoli noted that Microsoft's current product groups will continue to participate in open-source projects and standards. The executive suggests the new subsidiary will be able to quickly collaborate with outside projects, while serving as an intermediary between outside endeavors and the parent company.
"We believe that the subsidiary will provide a new way of engaging with open-source communities in a more clearly defined manner," Paoli added.
Microsoft once considered Linux a competitor to Windows, however the company last year reversed its position and admitted that the open-source OS only serves a niche market. The company also embraced OpenStreetMap and opened its Messenger IM network to the XMPP protocol, marking further softening toward open-source initiatives.