March 23, 2013

Open Source Communities and Microsoft come together at the first ever Openness Night in the Philippines

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. 

Microsoft Philippines, the local subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, has been constantly bringing innovation and making its technology available to Filipino businesses and individuals since 1995. As a committed and trusted partner in nation-building, Microsoft Philippines has made it its mission to fuel growth and healthy communities, as well as transform locally-based businesses and empower them to compete in the global economy. 

Bringing Windows and Open Source developers together to give back to the community 

In line with its mission to improve the lives of consumers and businesses through innovative technology, Microsoft Philippines, in conjunction with the vibrant open source communities in the country, launched the Openness Night today. 

The first of its kind for Microsoft, Openness Night is a monthly meet up where the local open source communities will be coming together with one goal—giving back. It aims to facilitate discussion among developers about emerging technologies, especially in the context of open standards, open source and interoperability. 
The event will also be a forum to enable and foster the development of local projects on Microsoft plus open source technologies, allowing developers to contribute back to their communities, often for the first time. In addition to working on projects that the local communities come up with, Microsoft will be supporting these initiatives by bringing different projects to the region that the communities can contribute to. 

The commitment of the local developer organizations was palpable with more than 100 developers turning up for the event; including participants from the PHP User Group Philippines, Philippine Drupal User Group, Wikimedia Philippines, WordPress Philippines, Philippine Ruby User Group, Python Philippines, Windows Developers Group, AWARE IT and Phil IT. 

“Our long-standing collaboration with Microsoft will be further strengthened by the Openness Nights. It gives us an opportunity to come together, irrespective of our technology preferences, break down barriers and make IT accessible to all in the Philippines,” said Cherrie Ann Domingo of PHP User Group Philippines, Inc. 
The Openness Night was kicked off by Gianugo Rabellino, Senior Director of Open Source Communities at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation focused on working at the intersection of open standards, open source and interoperability. A member of the Apache Software Foundation, Rabellino has been heavily involved in open source communities, software and business for nearly 20 years, and is deeply engaged in developing partnerships and collaborations that bridge open source and enterprise solutions. 
Openness Night. (L-R) Gianugo Rabellino, Senior Director of Open Source Communities at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., and Sangita Jayaraman, Director of Platform Strategy at Microsoft Asia Pacific.
“Technology today is increasingly complex and intertwined as we transform to a world of devices connected to online services,” Rabellino said. At Microsoft Open Technologies, we are fueled by the principle of open standards, open source and interoperability. We operate under the philosophy that Microsoft technologies can work in harmony and parallel with open source in a sustainable way to stretch the enormous capability of technology. This is most critical when responding to the important demands of people and businesses on the mega-trends of cloud and mobility.” 
Rabellino explained that Microsoft supports open source technologies on its cloud operating system and encouraged open source developers to continue to think of the Windows platforms as an easy way to launch open source applications. For example, Windows Azure provides broad support for open source technologies such as PHP, Python, Node.js, Java, etc. 

With Windows Azure Virtual Machines (VMs), customers can instantly run their existing applications and infrastructure, whether Windows or Linux, on the cloud without requiring any changes to the existing code. A recent development that Rabellino showcased was VM Depot, a catalog of open source images for Windows Azure where developers can build, deploy and share their virtual machines. Today, in just 3 months, VM Depot has more than 160 images contributed by the community at large and is the place to go to for cloud developers interested in sharing their open source technologies on Windows Azure. 

From a mobility perspective, how developers build apps is also very different today. Emerging technologies are making it easier for developers to build applications that work across a variety of cheap, powerful, devices and reach billions of people through the cloud. This opens up previously unimagined possibilities, but also new challenges. To make it easier for developers to build a single website targeting multiple devices, Microsoft is working with the industry on an open standard that will help web developers easily support a broad range of devices with different input capabilities, including keyboard, mouse, pen or touch. To that end, MS Open Technologies recently proposed a modification to the WebKit engine to support Pointer Events, an open standard effort currently being developed at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). 
During the Openness Nights, developers will have an opportunity to contribute to open source initiatives such as VM Depot and WebKit, in addition to other local projects. Openness ensures innovation and choice in the marketplace, delivers value in difficult economic times, and creates opportunities for startups and small and medium businesses. Based on the enthusiastic participation yesterday, the Openness Nights in Philippines is on its way to becoming a great forum for this spirit of openness. 

To learn more on Microsoft’s openness, visit 

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