Microsoft to invest $1m in open-source software foundation

Software giant looks to build more links with open source community.

Microsoft has set up a new open source forum, the CodePlex Foundation designed to help software companies, developers and open source communities share code and knowledge.

The intention is to bring commercial and open source software developers closer together - encouraging open source developers to use Microsoft programming tools and code for open source projects, and making it easier for Windows and .Net developers to contribute to open source projects.

Though some in the open source community will inevitably see it as a front for Microsoft, the Foundation will be an independent legal entity, and any copyright for code contributed to it will be jointly owned by the contributor and the Foundation.

Microsoft senior director of platform strategy Sam Ramjii will serve as interim president, though he will shortly leave Microsoft to work for another software company. Other Microsoft executives will sit temporarily on the CodePlex Foundation’s board until permanent non-Microsoft directors and advisors can be recruited.

Recognising the obvious threat to its software license revenue, Microsoft has tried hard to build links with the open source community in recent years. It has contributed to the Apache Software Foundation and the PHP scripting language community, for example, built open source software interoperability labs and involved itself in specific open source projects.

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