How Microsoft helps open source

So Microsoft opens, and open source closes. Is that how it goes in your business, too?

Matt Asay of C|Net
One of our newest C|Net bloggers, Matt Asay, is a player.

That is, he makes his living as vice president for business development at Alfresco Software, an open source content management company.

This gives him an insider's perspective I can't match. (I make up for it somehow.) Yesterday, it made Asay my interview subject, rather than just a colleague.

One of the points he made was fascinating. Microsoft is helping Alfresco expand its market with SharePoint.

"It’s part of Office, which makes it insidious, but it fits well with us because it’s relatively small and simple," he said.

"They’re filling a need, a need we’re also filling. When someone wants an easier to use content management system for web collaboration, they look at us and Sharepoint."

Once that discussion starts, Asay can close.

"We have deep integration into Office, through web services, even though we’re a GPL product. If someone is wedded to Microsoft we’re probably not for them.

"We sell primarily to places that also use Java, to companies that care about open source, and there are a lot. Open source is becoming a default for large companies. I’m seeing that more and more."

So Microsoft opens, and open source closes. Is that how it goes in your business, too?

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