MICROSOFT IS TO CHANGE its methodology for development, taking the best elements of open source.
The software giant, which has become increasingly less hostile towards the open source in the past few years, is recruiting for a team to roll out 'Inner Source' across the organisation. Basically, this means that it will use open source principles, but internally within the Microsoft church.
The move chimes nicely with the company's purchase of open source repository GitHub, last year, which appears to have a significant role in the new way of working, based on recent job post text.
One particularly revealing advertisement for a senior program manager, spotted by ZDNet, talks of a "newly founded team" which "is bootstrapping an Inner Source Initiative to make inner source pervasive across the country."
Standard Microsoft (and for that matter Apple) policy will probably mean that once the scheme is up and running, Microsoft will take effective ownership of having invented the concept of open source, and start evangelising to its customers, previously encouraged to stick with what they know for years, to take it on in their own organisations, or be branded as fools… fools, I tell you!
The advantages of Inner Source for organisations is one of avoiding multiple colleagues and teams 'reinventing the same wheel'. Although Microsoft might not want everything it does to be gifted to the world (yet), it means that if coders need to write a process that does a certain thing, they can check to see if someone else has done it already, rather than starting from scratch.
For code already in the repository, it means many more eyes will be available to check, and if need be, debug or improve it for the benefit of all.
It's not quite going open source (that day, Beelzebub will go training with Tonya Harding) but it's another indication that Microsoft is still, slowly, finally catching up with the rest of the world. μ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked