Microsoft courts open-source vendors to support Win Server 2008

On February 27, when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launches Windows Server 2008 in Los Angeles, open-source vendors won't be on stage as part of the supporting cast. That doesn't mean, however, that Microsoft is simply assuming that if the company builds a new back-end infrastructure, these newfound friends will automatically show up.

When Microsoft officially launches Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 in one fell swoop on February 27, it will have a cadre of software, hardware and services partners backing its play.

One group that won't be physically onstage with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Los Angeles will be the open-source software vendors that the Redmond software vendor increasingly has been encouraging to port their products to Windows. But that doesn't mean Microsoft is simply assuming that if they build a new back-end infrastructure, these newfound friends will automatically show up.

Microsoft has been making a concerted effort in recent months to convince open-source vendors that LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl) isn't the only game in town. Porting apps to Windows and tying into the supporting Microsoft servers can make good business sense, the Redmondians have argued. A number of open-source vendors subsequently began offering versions of their wares that ran on previous versions of Windows Server

Microsoft is stepping up its recruitment campaign around the next iterations of its products, especially Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008. In fact, this week back at corporate headquarters in Redmond, Microsoft officials are working closely with members of the Apache Software Foundation -- whom Microsoft invited to its Open Source Lab -- to help Apache get its open-source Web server and other products to run on Windows Server 2008. Microsoft Open Source Community Lead Garrett Serack has been blogging the minutia surrounding the Apache representatives' visit.

Apache isn't the only "open-source hero" with whom the Microsoft's brass is actively working to get more products to pass the battery of "Works With" Windows Server 2008 and "Certified For" Windows Server 2008 tests. As of Wednesday, launch day, three open-source companies had passed the gauntlet, according to Microsoft.

SpikeSource will be highlighting five of its PHP applications that are certified as begin able to work with Windows Server 2008, a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed. Aras Corporation's Innovator suite (which received the Server 2008 certification nod from Microsoft back in January) will be touting its Certified for Windows Server 2008 status for its product-lifecycle-management product. And Bitrock will get the “Works With" designation for its open-source development solution, Microsoft officials said.

Microsoft officials said to expect more announcements of open-source software that will work with its Windows Server 2008 and other new server and development-tool products in March.

Out of curiosity, are there any open-source applications, in particular that you'd be interested in running on Windows Server 2008? Or are you a purist who only wants open-source software if it is running on Linux?