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Open Source influence on Windows Server 2008

Microsoft‘s Sam Ramji explains how open source influenced Windows Server 2008. “Overall, we’ve learned and continue to learn from open source development principles. These are making their way into the mindset, development practices, and ultimately into the products we bring to market.”

  • Modular architectures
    You can find these wherever you see participation at scale – and often a rearchitecture to a more modular system precedes expanded participation.  Great examples of this are Firefox, OpenOffice, and X11 – from both the historical rearchitecture and the increased participation that resulted.  The Apache HTTP server and APR are good examples that have been modular for as long as I can recall.
  • Programming language agnostic
    A given project uses a consistent language, but there are no rules on what languages are in scope or out of scope.  Being open to more languages means opportunity to attract more developers – the diversity of PHP/Perl/Python/Java has been a core driver in the success of a number of projects including Linux.
  • Feedback-driven development
    The “power user” as product manager is a powerful shift in how to build and tune software – and this class of users includes developers who are not committing code back, but instead submitting CRs and defects – resulting in a product that better fits its end users.
  • Built-for-purpose systems
    Most frequently seen in applications of Linux, the ability to build a system that has just what is needed to fulfill its role and nothing else (think of highly customizable distributions like Gentoo or BusyBox, as well as fully custom deployments).
  • Sysadmins who write code
    The ability of a skilled system administrator to write the “last mile” code means that they can make a technology work in their particular environment efficiently and often provide good feedback to developers.  This is so fundamental to Unix and Linux environments that most sysadmins are competent programmers.
  • Standards-based communication
    Whether the standard is something from the IETF or W3C, or simply the implementation code itself, where these are used projects are more successful (think of Asterisk and IAX2) and attract a larger ecosystem of software around them.

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Microsoft, Windows Sever 2008, WS2008, Win2K8, Windows Server, Open-Source, Open Source

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