I am sorry to say this, but I do think that Microsoft don't care at best, actively resisting it at worst. Off the top of my head, here are two examples of actions that I would call nefarious:
- Refusing the Mono's BoF in the PDC (link)
- Microsoft consultanting service that won't help you if your entired stack is MS-Approved (link)
I am ready to accept that Microsoft is a huge company and such things are deviations from the official Microsoft policy, if Bryan (or any official from Microsoft) is willing to make such a statement, by the way.
More disturbing is the complete and utter silence with regard to OSS tools in the Microsoft world from Microsoft. There are very few articles on MSDN about using OSS software, mostly centered around NUnit and dated a year or more ago. The only recent one that I could was written by me :-)
There are no Microsoft products (that I know of) that uses OSS products, when they need functionality that exist in an OSS product, they have to build their own version, even when there are not licensing issues.
There are other examples that bothers me as well, MS Test using [TestClass] and [TestMethod] instead of the [TestFixture] and [Test] is just... not wise decision in my opinion, why break the API?
I feel that I should repeat this again, I don't think that Microsoft ought to financially support OSS projects on the Microsoft platforms. If Microsoft feels like sending gobs of money to OSS developers, I would be very happy :-), but that is not something that I strive for. I, personally, "exploit" OSS projects for commercial profit. And my company has saw nothing but benefits from this effort. We are able to do quite a bit because we can rely on a rich set of tools and features (some of which were contributed by yours truly). I got bug fixes from other people that implements features that I needed later on, so everyone (including the community at large) benefited from that. [Would I open source the code that calculate the amount of work an employee had done in a month, no, I wouldn't. But I did added my patch for NHibernate that made such a calculation efficent.]
What I am looking for from Microsoft is first of all recognition in at least some OSS projects. What do I mean by that? Well, to start with, why not publish some official documentation about NRandomProject instead of publishing anouncement of the avilability of Microsoft Random Product in 18 months.
I want to see a Microsoft product that is using an OSS product because it was the best of breed tool to solve their needs. I want to see OSS speakers at conferences that are not talking about integration with Microsoft technologies. It is cool to see that you can use Team System from Eclipse, but it has very little value to me.
My main goal is to stop having to justify the use of an Open Source tool vs. a commercial (not neccecarily Microsoft, btw) one. This is a general problem in the Microsoft space, and I believe that the main cause of it is Microsoft itself. A change in the behavior in Microsoft would bring about a lot more trust in the very idea of using OSS in commercial settings.
Let me put it another way, if I was a Microsoft employee and wanted to use Ruby On Rails in a project (customer facing one). Assume for the purpose of the question is that this is a project that hits RoR sweet spots very well, and the team wants to use this to cut down the effort needed by using RoR. What would happen? Note that I am specifically not asking about the Port25 team, I know that Port25 has a lot more leeway in this specifically because you are the OSS labs.
I have the very strong feeling that the team wishes would be overruled for a Microsoft Centric solution (with biztalk in the middle, just to make someone happy :-) ).
For that matter, I would be happy to see any Microsoft software that is using an OSS libraries/tools that were not developed by Microsoft (and the BSD sockets code doesn't count)...