This morning Microsoft made a pretty big announcement. We announced that we would implement 4 new interoperability principles across many of our products including Vista and the .NET Framework, that will impact product development, documentation , and community outreach.

1. Ensuring open connections

2. Promoting data portability

3. Enhancing support for industry standards

4. Fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities

The last three, I believe will be of most interest to my team and the technologies we work on. As mentioned in the Microsoft press release, this announcement highlights the "significance that individuals and businesses place upon the ease of information-sharing", and as the Data team, this is a big part of what we are working to enable.

Also in the press release, a number of specifics were highlighted to give example of how these principles would be implemented, including:

  • Launching the Open Source Interoperability Initiative. To promote and enable more interoperability between commercial and community-based open source technologies and Microsoft products, this initiative will provide resources, facilities and events, including labs, plug fests, technical content and opportunities for ongoing cooperative development.
  • Expanding industry outreach and dialogue. An ongoing dialogue with customers, developers and open source communities will be created through an online Interoperability Forum. In addition, a Document Interoperability Initiative will be launched to address data exchange between widely deployed formats.