Back in 2003, I blogged about how Miguel de Icaza could not get his proposed Birds of a Feather session approved at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference.
There’s always been ambivalence at Microsoft about Mono. Extending the value of .NET – good. Making it possible to ditch Windows – bad. Mono events at Microsoft conferences have tended to be off-site affairs in nearby hotels.
Viewing the sessions for Mix08, it’s clear that Mono has been pretty much welcomed into the fold. The catalyst for change was Moonlight, which solves a problem for Microsoft by enabling Silverlight to run on Linux. Miguel de Icaza is participating in a panel discussion on open technologies (with Andi Gutmans at Zend and Mike Schroepfer from Mozilla), and has his own session on Moonlight, subtitled “Come experience .NET on Linux”.
Don’t expect Microsoft to open source Office any time soon. That said, the company has changed significantly since 2003. Yes, it’s been forced by the market; but it’s a welcome development nonetheless.
If the Yahoo deal goes ahead, open source at Microsoft will get even more interesting.