Earlier this year I wrote that Microsoft needed to open source something big. Even Apple, hardly a bastion of openness, had its Darwin and Webkit projects. Microsoft was talking to the open source talk, but other than a bunch of random ASP.NET stuff, it hadn’t really released much code.
The problem was finding something Microsoft could open source that would matter. Even assuming it had the will to open source something like Internet Explorer or the Windows kernel, technology licensed from other companies could hold it back.
Microsoft has now solved this problem by contributing to existing non-Microsoft projects like Apache Hadoop and Node.js. It’s a great win-win situation for both Microsoft and the open source community.