The Man Who Introduced Microsoft to Open Source Leaves For HP

At first, he was merely a teacher — someone who showed the company how open source worked. But eventually, he created an open source lab inside Microsoft, hiring a man named Sam Ramji to run it, and he started a dialogue with the open source community, attempting to dispel some of the skepticism — and anger — that had built up against the tech giant, which had actively worked to suppress open source projects, seeing them as a threat to the business it had built around proprietary software like the Windows operating system.

They were a threat to its business. But if Microsoft had embraced open source earlier — listened a bit more to people like Hilf — it could have avoided a great deal of pain and even used open source to its advantage, as it’s trying to do now.