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Port25 - Welcome to Microsoft's Open source lab

For quite a few of us, Open source and Microsoft are like fire and water. They cannot co-exist in the same container. During my past blogs, I have recalled quite a few times how Microsoft considered Open source. To say that a few years ago, Microsoft did not like the Open source movement is a gross understatement.

How times have changed. At the end of March 2006, following one Slashdot post (opens in new tab) - and 2000 feedback mails, Port 25, Microsoft's unofficial "spokes site" for Open Source was launched. Why Port 25?

Port 25 is the port number for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP which is the gateway through which most emails transit from server to server. Port 25, founder, Bill Hilf adds, is a "metaphor for how we are opening the communication lines to for a discussion around Open Source Software and Microsoft".

The concept of Bill Hilf’s Port 25 site was inspired by the Slashdot experience and the enormous amount of feedback he got. The site is one of the more visited sections of (opens in new tab) and is currently in the top 28,000 most visited websites on the internet according to Alexa, not bad for an Open Source website.

From features on Shared Memory, Interoperability between Unix and Windows and some eye-opening interviews, the site is well worth a visit and a bookmark. Port25 is the symbol of the peace that the new, more open source friendly Microsoft intends to forge with its ex-nemesis.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.