InfoWorld: Can you tell me what one or two of them were?
Gutierrez: I can tell you that there have been a number of them and no, those conversations are business conversations that we tend not to divulge.
InfoWorld: I think it was early this year that Microsoft released documentation on multiple technologies. What's been the impact of that?
Gutierrez: Well I think it's been very significant. So far over 44,000 pages of detailed technical specifications have been made available over the Internet for anybody who wants to use them. I think that is an unprecedented step that no other company in the industry has really taken. In addition to that, there are a number of the patents on those technologies that are part of patent maps that we've made public and Microsoft has committed to make those patents available for licensing at very low royalty rates. So that was one of the commitments that Microsoft made back in January in the context of the interoperability principle, but there were also a number of other principles included in there. For example, [that] deal with data portability, that deal with Microsoft support of industry standards, and that deal with the kind of industry consultation mechanisms that are really necessary to be able to advance the ball in that area.
InfoWorld: I was speaking with the executive director of the Eclipse Foundation the other day, Mike Milinkovich, and we talked a little bit about whether Microsoft was ever going to join Eclipse. Is Microsoft going to do that?
Gutierrez: Well actually, I think it must have been 48 hours ago that they actually commended Microsoft for having explicitly agreed to contribute in a number of areas. I am really not the right person to talk technically about the scope of the collaboration.
InfoWorld: But is Microsoft going to join the foundation?
Gutierrez: I really wouldn't be able to answer. I'll tell you, we have now a breadth and depth of engagement with the open source community and a number of key development projects that is really unprecedented in the history of the company.
InfoWorld: So you're working with Eclipse and Apache and I think there might have been another organization?
Gutierrez: That's right, a number of them. And I think you would find, in this area, that [Microsoft executive] Sam Ramji would be a much more adequate spokesperson.
InfoWorld: Is Microsoft going to offer any more products under open source? Has Microsoft looked at the GNU license or anything like that?
Gutierrez: I am sure that you're going to see a lot more from us, both in terms of the kinds of licensing programs that we create as well as the kinds of things that we're going to be able to do in our collaboration with open source. So in general I would say the answer to your question is yes. I think the most significant part of this is that we've learned over the last five years, having done over 500 licensing deals, that it is possible to develop a licensing program that really enhances the collaboration opportunities for companies where you get the benefit of the innovation that other companies do and at the same time you're able to share yours. And this open innovation paradigm is one that we see growing and consolidating over the years and we feel that there is a very important role for the licensing work that we do in order to make that possible.