Posts Tagged ‘MTS08’

Microsoft’s Motherhood/Apple Pie ‘Altruism’

April 9, 2008

During a recent Microsoft Tech Summit that I attended last month, Microsoft’s John Fernandes gave an interesting talk on Microsoft’s Local Software Economy (LSE) Initiative.

It’s a Motherhood/Apple Pie marketing and funding initiative with the goal to build healthy software economies in developing countries.

During the talk, there was an interesting debate that at first glance may be perceived as a typical colonial/imperialist exploitation.

Yes, Microsoft needs a profit center but establishing self-sustaining software businesses in economically disadvantaged countries is the apple pie.

I think most people in the room considered it a beautiful story, if successful. The hope is that these countries become much wealthier.

John Fernandes is clearly a man with a mission. He’s committed to use Microsoft resources to help developing countries build infrastructure, education programs, and entrepreneurial support for vibrant software ecosystems.

Ultimately, the businesses created will be self sustaining profit centers where eventually Microsoft prospers by selling more OS licenses. As he noted, "Motherhood and Apple Pie is a good thing" for both parties.

Some interesting notes:

  • LSE sponsors CMMi programs, fosters innovation, builds software associations.
  • Currently 80 countries involved.
  • Imagine Cup is an LSE initiative.
  • MIC: Microsoft Innovation Center is a key LSE service.


There may be more info on Microsoft Startup Zone.

BTW, here’s a post about LSE from last year’s MTS07 event.

Of course, Microsoft is not the only company with Motherhood/Apple Pie ‘altruism’.

IBM’s similar initiative is called PartnerWorld. In this case, IBM benefits from infrastructure and consulting service sales.

Microsoft Brainwash Summit 2008?

March 29, 2008

Microsoft invited 43 members of the Open Source / Anything But Microsoft (ABM) development community for a 2 ½ day conversation.

Dario Laverde and I were invited since we run the New York City Java SIG. Much thanks to Microsoft’s Peter Laudati for the invite.

We had an extremely diverse group of free spirited talented developers and engineers with strong opinions towards Microsoft. The group represented most of the popular ABM tech (e.g., Ruby, PHP, Linux, Flex/Flash/ColdFusion, MySQL, Apache, Samba, Perl, Java, etc.).

The standing joke was to label the event as Microsoft’s Brainwash Barcamp. To be fair, Microsoft deserves much credit for holding the event.

For me, it was a great privilege to get the opportunity to share my thoughts on how both parties can work better together. Obviously, the key issue is Microsoft’s inability to connect with the open source community. I’ll post more about it next week.

Regarding Java, even though it’s now an open spec, there are remaining legal issues that Microsoft and Sun need to resolve. I spoke to Sam Ramji a bit about it last night. He is trying to spearhead an effort to make Windows the best OS for Java. He noted that he visited Sun in Santa Clara last week and the meeting didn’t go very well. However, he appears to be optimistic.

In any case, the NYC Java SIG will do its part to facilitate an ongoing dialog between the Java Community and Microsoft since both parties ultimately benefit.


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Microsoft Technology Summit 2008

March 27, 2008

I’m attending a special event on Microsoft’s Redmond campus this week. It’s called the Microsoft Technology Summit 2008. I’ll try my best to blog about it this week.

So far the event has been a great learning experience for the attendees as well as Microsoft. There are only ~50 attendees. The majority of the attendees are non-Microsoft technologists (e.g., PHP, Ruby, Java, Flash/Flex, Perl, OpenID, etc.). The clash of skill sets/technologies is leading to interesting/engaging conversation with Microsoft.

I’ll have much more to say later this week.


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