Wednesday Jul 30, 2008

Sam Ramji of Microsoft Tells all

Last week at OSCON I ran into Sam Ramji, head of Microsoft's worldwide open source and linux team, outside of Starbucks.  He had a back-to-back meetings lined up that day but since my podcast last year was singularly responsible for his rise within Microsoft, he cut out some time for me.  [BTW, this was the day before their Apache announcement] Here is the result:

My interview with Sam (11:02)  Listen (Mp3) Listen (ogg)

I came bearing gifts.  Sam holding a real operating system (turns out he already had BeleniX loaded)

Some of the topics we tackle:

  • His new position and team (its grown from 12 to 112 people and spans 65 countries) and what they're responsible for.
  • Strategy without execution is hallucination
  • The two licenses Microsoft submitted (one BSD-like and the other copyleft and which allows dual licensing), and got approved by the OSI last year.
  • The importance of interoperability and making sure MS stuff works well with Linux/Solaris etc.
  • The work they've been doing with the Jeremy Allison and the Samba team
  • Ballmer's recent quote regarding Open Source and "recovering their agnosticism"
  • What Sam's proudest over the last year and shout outs to team members.

Want more Sam?  Check out this Infoweek article, also from OSCON.

Pau for now...

Wednesday Apr 09, 2008

Sam Ramji becomes Microsoft's head of Open Source and Linux

I just read the news in Matt Asay's posting from earlier today

Sam Ramji just got a promotion: Sam will now be running Microsoft's worldwide open-source and Linux team (roughly 120 people and counting).

Sam had been the director of Microsoft's open-source software lab. In this new role, he'll continue to oversee the lab but also take on a more strategic role within the company (and, by extension, within the industry).

Chatting with Sam

I met Sam last summer at OSCON and was very impressed with what a sharp, friendly and down-to-earth guy he was. 

I was particularly impressed when I asked him if he would be up for an on-the-spot recorded interview and he said he'd be happy to do it right after a meeting he had.  No hesitation, no NDA or contract for me to sign. 

Here is the interview (8:27)  Listen

I hope to be able to grab him again at OSCON this year.

Pau for now.... 

Wednesday Aug 22, 2007

My Interview with Sam Ramji of Microsoft

The day before OSCON officially kicked off, Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation introduced me to Sam Ramji, director of Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab.  Seeing the opportunity for an interesting interview I asked Sam if he'd be up for a "recorded chat." 

He graciously agreed and here's the result: Listen to the Inteview (8:27)

Topics:  Where the Open Source Software Lab fits within Microsoft; How big is Sam's group; When software technologies compete, you win;  What reaction does he get when he turns up at FOSS events; Debating Eben Moglen at OSBC -- no one wants patent Armageddon;  Is there a Wubuntu in the works?.

Note: This interview took place two days before Microsoft General Manager of Platform Strategy Bill Hilf announced that Microsoft was submitting its shared source licenses to the Open Source Initiative and that the company was launching an open source site -- moves that prompted this supportive article from Matt Asay, this entry from Miguel de Icaza as well as this analysis from Glyn Moody.

Oh, and lets not forget Chris DiBona of Google's negative reaction  and Ashlee's reaction to his reaction as well as  more thoughts in general, both supportive and questioning. 

May you live in interesting times... :) 

Pau for now...


Update:  ...And it related news, this just in: Microsoft kills its ‘Get the Facts’ anti-Linux site   Nice!


I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.


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