This is something of an open thread because I am genuinely confused on this important point. (Picture from Torahmitzion.)
Does Steve Ballmer speak for Microsoft on open source? He's the CEO, and he seems to think that open source does not exist, has no right to exist, and can be ground down with lawyers.
Is it Jason Matusow? His blog was considered the "go to" source for Microsoft's open source views a year ago.
Should we look to the Microsoft legal team, its executive ranks, or what about the geek standing in front of you on the trade show stand?
I suspect they all speak for Microsoft, and at the same time none do. Microsoft is a huge company, much like the IBM Bill Gates faced in the 1980s, and it seeks to use opacity to its advantage.
We once had IBM-ologists. Now we have Microsoft-ologists. In both cases these are people paid to know, or guess, what Microsoft "is really thinking" when if Microsoft itself knew one would think they would tell us.
I don't know why Ballmer feels that aping the IBM strategy of 20 years ago is going to win Microsoft the future. He might consider it didn't work out that well for IBM. Or for the guys inside the building above 20 years ago, which is called the Kremlin.