The software behemoth's attendance at the annual conference of the Australian Unix and Open Systems Users Group (AUUG) follows on from a similar appearance at the group's Open Computing in Government conference earlier this year.
While that conference saw Microsoft executive Greg Stone come under attack from the audience for the vendor's proprietary document standards, the AUUG organisers are obviously hoping Microsoft Unix specialist Chris Green will receive a warmer welcome.
"Don't be put off by Chris' Microsoft badge -- he is actually a long time Unix hacker," the user group said today in a statement updating users on presentations at the conference.
"In this day and age a heterogenuous data centre is the norm," said the statement as it outlined the Microsoft executive's role in the gathering.
Green, Microsoft's local Unix Interoperability and High Performance Computing specialist, will update the conference on his company's "Unix and open source-related activities, including their efforts to provide a POSIX environment in Windows, and to integrate Windows and Unix systems."
Also speaking at the conference will be Brad Templeton, chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the leading civil rights advocacy group for the online environment. Templeton is an Internet pioneer in his own right, having founded ClariNet, which claimed to be the world's first online content company.
Templeton is already in Australia, according to his blog. "I've arrived this morning in Melbourne, a very pleasant city," he wrote on Friday.
"Lots of interesting food, seems very livable with great transit, pleasant spaces and parks and architecture. And also surveillance cameras, everywhere. And warnings about stopping terrorism even though there hasn't really been much here."
A number of influential speakers likely to speak on more purely technical content will also address the conference, including security researcher Peter Gutman, who helped develop the popular PGP encryption package and Sun Microsystems' Bryan Cantrill, one of the principal engineers developing the company's DTrace tool.
DTrace, one of the most touted features of Sun's recently-released Solaris 10 operating system, provides advanced performance analysis and debugging features for server software and recently had its source code made publicly available.
The conference will be held at Sydney's Carlton Crest hotel next week.