Week ago, I was invited to Microsoft Poland.
Two Microsoft people, who were described as “people from the group which takes care of interoperatibility and are not technical” are comming to Poland on Monday, for one day. They want to “talk to someone from Open Source community” about, what they described as, “business implications of standards and interoperatibility“.
Sounds interesting, huh?
And yes, I did explain to them that I’m not a spoke person for any of the Open Source projects, neither Flock, nor Mozilla, nor KDE or anything else. The replied that they don’t want to talk to people from the “top”, but from the “field” which sounds even more interesting to me.
Of course I accepted the invitation, no reason to refuse the opportunity to discuss topics that are so important for me with people, who represent the world which makes my goals harder to accomplish.
So, according to them, it’ll be 4 people private discussion, with Adam Dawidziuk (7bulls), me, and those 2 Microsoft people.
Also, the funny thing is that it’ll happen in the exact same day when we have a meeting with Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu.
This has two background things I’d like to write about.
First one, is that it means something. It’s almost symbolic. Things are changing. When I was joining Flock, my experience with Microsoft as a partner in the business world was rather sad. I was unable to get response from them about how they’re going to translate “tab” in Internet Explorer 7.0 (so we can sync with them for polish Firefox and Opera), and they were trying to employ some Open Source people (like Eric S. Raymond or my Flocker friend Ian McKellar), it proved how little they knew about the world on the other side of the bridge.
On January 2006, another friend of mine, who at the time was working on Flock with me, Chris Messina, had a lunch with Microsoft. It was 100% informal, but happened. And now, after next few months the above will happen, and comparing to Chris’s experience, it’s something way more formal. It’s not a dinner, it’s a planned part of their workday. It’s a formal meeting.
I’m curious what were the reasons for them to organize such thing. Why now. Why in Poland. Is it a part of some bigger changes in Microsoft’s direction? I hope to know more tomorrow evening.
Second thing is, that I treat it as a great opportunity to answer questions about things that might help us know more about Microsoft’s inside. No, not that ones that are “secret data”. The ones that are not written down on microsoft.com because there was no reason for this.
So, what is your opinion? What would you like to know that Microsoft can answer?