Cloud makes open source 'inevitable' for Microsoft and others

Julie Bort | Computer World UK | October 11, 2011

It could be that Sam Ramji is just an eternal optimist. While many free software advocates warn that the cloud could kill open source, because users won't have access to the source code, Ramji disagrees. He says that work is going on now to eliminate the legal liabilities of contributing to open source. Once that's done, Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors (like Apple and Oracle) who exhibit a love-hate relationship with free software will be forced to use open source to build their own clouds. This will lead them to eventually adopt it for other wares, contributing and sharing like good community members.

"You can't compete with all the developers who are writing new technologies for the cloud, for the infrastructure level and for the platforms and framework level," says Ramji, best known as Microsoft's first in-house open source advocate, a position he left two years ago...