Ballmer <3’s Open Source

Hmm. The implications here could be very interesting. All I know is that I never really thought I’d hear “Microsoft” and “Linux” in the same breath. Unless, of course, someone was talking about how Microsoft doesn’t support it.

Microsoft will support instances of Red Hat Linux in its Virtual Server and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM).

Joking that it hurts my eyes CEO Steve Ballmer watched Red Hat Linux running on an early version of Virtual Server Service Pack 1, due for release by year-end.

Ballmer also showed MOM controlling Sun Solaris boxes, and admitted working closely with Sun to make it happen.

It would seem that Microsoft is finally surrendering to demands for interoperability from its corporate customer base. This is a big concession, but justified as a way to “embrace and extend” around open source.

Is it a big concession? Will it lead to more companies choosing Microsoft software, or Linux? Has Microsoft finally surrendered to the open source community, or is this just a minor concession aimed at luring those who have experimented with open source away?