A little over a year ago, (when I was still on the CardSpace team) I woke up, and wandered over to my computer at home, and bleary-eyed started up a browser and saw the following:

 
Whooosh! This was better than a triple-shot-breve-latte! I snapped fully awake, and started cranking out a few emails... this would be a great opportunity to get FireFox to support CardSpace!  Who was this Sam Ramji guy? We have an Open Source Software Lab? Really? Mozilla coming to campus? Can the CardSpace team get some time with them? Yeee-haw!

That one little post on Slashdot started a chain reaction of events that I would never have imagined.  Now, of course, I'm part of the OSSL, and I get to see stuff like this taking shape first hand.

Earlier today, I posted an invitation to several of the Apache Developer mailing lists:

Howdy,

My name is Garrett Serack, and I am the Community Program Manager in the Open Source Software Labs here at Microsoft.

I would like to extend an official invitation to the Apache Software Foundation to participate in the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Compatibility Labs here in Redmond. The Compatibility lab is scheduled for

   Monday February 25 2008 through Wednesday February 28 2008.

WHAT IS IT?
The Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility Lab is an event where we invite companies to bring their applications into our lab, and have the opportunity to perform compatibility testing with Windows Server 2008. In addition to gaining insight into Windows Server 2008, this also includes unprecedented access to various product groups (developers, architects and PMs) inside of Microsoft, who can lend their assistance, give technical information and answer design questions you may have.

Normally, we request companies send 3-4 attendees, and we usually have 3-4 companies in the lab in a given week. Given the ASF's size and breadth, we've reserved the entire lab for the week for the Apache Foundation, and we'd like to see somewhere in the range of 15-18 people from a wide variety of projects attend.

WHO SHOULD COME?
We would be very interested in having several people from the Tomcat, HTTPD and Axis groups attend. Other projects including APR, Apache C++ Standard Library project, Harmony, and Maven.NET also come to mind. Any project that is impacted by the release of Windows 2008, or is looking to solve Windows-specific project issues, may profit from this opportunity.

We are interested in having each project who deals with Microsoft Windows compatibility or portability to bring small contingent of 1 or 2 developers to the table, so please chat within your own PMC or even your dev@ list first to determine who is most interested in attending this camp on behalf of your project. Space is constrained, and we'd like to ensure that specific attention can be given to projects that need it.

INSIGHT
You might be interested in the "political" rational of why we value this chance to meet some of the ASF developers and help them work through Windows compatibility issues. You can see Sam Ramji's blog entry about why we asked Mozilla out:

http://port25.technet.com/archive/2006/09/20/Why-I-invited-Mozilla.aspx

As for Apache, we're really keen to see their technology run great on Windows.

To some folks in the ASF, this isn't a surprise... Hank and I have already had good conversations with Apache folks in order to work out the dates and details.