If Alec Taylor were a comic book character, the strip might read: Taylor floated like a butterfly among a crowd of penguins at Linux conferences this year in an attempt to settle the score between proprietary and open source software once and for all.
Instead of drawing battlelines between the
world’s largest software company and a Finnish pioneer, Taylor acts as if those lines don’t even exist. “”It’s about dispelling this perception that it’s a versus situation,”” said Taylor, who prefers to be called the “”Microsoft platform value guy”” rather than Microsoft’s anti-open source spokesperson. He adds the debate is much less emotional than it has been made out to be in the past.
“”A lot of the thinking around open source was perception-based. Now customers looking at open source like any software solution.”” When it comes to software, Taylor says Canadians think with their heads and not with their hearts. “”Canadians are pretty pragmatic around software use and decisions they make around software they use,”” said Taylor.
He added that there’s a lot of sharing in the developer community that goes on between the two models.
Microsoft has a number of shared source initiatives where it shares bits of its code with select developers, partners and customers.
On that front, Taylor said, “”You’ll continue to see us explore a whole spectrum of opportunities to share our code with partners and developers and academic community to help people build better applications, better solutions on the Windows platform.””
In terms of Unix, Taylor said customers are migrating to Intel’s x86 platform. “”Customers are realizing that there’s business value there.”” While Taylor said Linux is making inroads with Unix to Linux migrations, he added the same can’t be said for Windows to Linux.
“”We’re not seeing any Windows to Linux (migrations),”” he said.