Microsoft in Open Source Partnership

Agreement with middleware maker JBoss marks a new high temperature in the thawing of Redmond.
Microsoft and JBoss announced a cooperation agreement on Tuesday in what is Microsoft's first official embrace of open source.

Under the agreement, the two companies will ''explore'' ways to enhance the interoperability between JEMS and Microsoft Windows Server products. Another goal is to enable JEMS to better support the Windows Server operating system.

Bill Hilf, director of platform technology strategy at Microsoft, told internetnews.com that, while the collaboration will be similar to those the company has done with other ISVs, this is the first time Microsoft has worked with a vendor of open source software.

''The win from Microsoft's perspective is the realization that there are all sorts of business and development models that are having success on Windows,'' Hilf said. ''Even open source companies are finding that same success.''

The JBoss Enterprise Middleware System (JEMS) is an open source enterprise middleware platform comprised of up to 12 individual open source projects: JBoss Application Server, EJB 3.0, Hibernate, Javassist, JBoss AOP, JBoss Cache, JBoss IDE, JBoss jBPM, JBoss Mail, JBoss Portal, JGroups and Tomcat.

According to Shaun Connolly, vice president of product management at JBoss, a recent customer survey showed that nearly half of the company's customer base deploys JEMS on Windows Server. ''Many are running multiple operating system environments,'' he said.

Many JEMS customers run the middleware on top of Microsoft Windows Server, so better integration could make the software run smoother and provide more features.

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