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May 10, 2012

Lucene Revolution: MS talks of being more open

Lucene Revolution: MS talks of being more open

At yesterday’s kickoff of Lucene Revolution 2012, Lucid CEO Paul Doscher introduced Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft's Director of Open Source Communities. Gianugo said little about search per se, but he did confess to having been a fan of Lucene and Solr for a while now. In his talk, he told the audience that Microsoft has changed with respect to open source, and he went on to tell everyone how they have become more involved in open standard like HTML5, CSS3; and in hardware specifications like USB. He went so far as to say 'Microsoft's survival depends on open source software'.

News to me, and perhaps to others in the room, was the extent to which Microsoft is supporting a number of open source products and languages. Gianugo reported that Linux is now a 'first-class guest operating system' on Microsoft HyperV; and provides support for PHP, Ruby on Rails, node.js and other projects on Azure (and presumably for 'on premises' systems).

A number of folks from large commercial organizations seemed to appreciate the news about Microsoft's shift towards supporting open source; but a number of the open-source folks in the room felt this offered little new, and some even felt it was an unrelated 'sales pitch'. Even though we are Microsoft partners, I'm glad to see more support for open source products like PHP and Linux.

The finniest part of the talk came as Gianugo was describing how SharePoint data was easily accessible to other non-Microsoft' search platforms. An attendee asked if he felt there was a role for other platforms to be used as the primary engine for search in SharePoint; as he paused to craft a reply, Paul Doscher (loudly) pronounced his belief that there was, much to the pleasure of the crown.

There was not much else in the way of Microsoft news; but it was interesting to see how many people and how much effort Microsoft is putting into open source projects.

 

 

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