I hate to go all Bond villain on Mr. Ballmer, but the question of whether Microsoft talks to open source, about open source, or even engages open source is just not relevant any more.
We are past the point with Microsoft where open source needs to fear the Giant of Redmond. Despite Mr. Ballmer's bluster, the company lacks the legal weaponry to destroy open source, with patents or anything else.
Open source and Microsoft were never really enemies in the first place. Open source is a business model. Microsoft is a company. It's like pitting a noun against a verb.
Microsoft is free to use the open source business model, or any model derived from it, like SaaS. Open source companies, in turn, are perfectly free to deliver proprietary extensions to open source products, as they regularly do under many licenses.
The conflict between Microsoft and open source involved the monopoly rents Microsoft was gaining due to what is now becoming an obsolete business model. That era is now over and Microsoft knows it.
Whether Microsoft can adapt well to this new era is unknown. Certainly there remain plenty of proprietary opportunities, as Apple has shown. Microsoft has plenty of smart people who are capable of creating great new businesses.
Open source will not determine whether or not Microsoft succeeds at that. Microsoft management will determine that.
So, no, Mr. Ballmer, I don't need you to talk. I don't need you or your company to die, either. Let's just agree to meet in the marketplace.
May the best product, as well as the most powerful business model, prevail. As opposed to the best legal team. If we agree on that, I have nothing but warm feelings for the Giant of Redwood. Except, perhaps, for this.