Perhaps to test the waters, perhaps as a deep seated survival urge, Microsoft will be using Open Source software in a big way with its Enterprise Management Software, System Center. Will this be the first of more Enterprise ventures that concedes the argument that “if it runs on Windows (client and/or Server) why else does it have to run anywhere else ? ” is no longer sufficient in the IT market. Time and success of the the System Center software may dictate how Microsoft proceeds in other Linux ventures.

Lets take a look at just what Microsoft is doing. System Center Operations Manager will have a series of Cross Platform Extensions which Microsoft insists they will provide out-of-the box service management for HP-UX, Red Hat Enetrprise Linux, Novell Suse Linux, and Sun Solaris (note the omission of anything IBM). Now Microsoft has used Open Source software such as PHP and BSD for some of its Service apps. But those have manily arisen from acquisitions and some have been replaced with the Windows equvalents overtime. As well, Microsoft “is cooperating” with Novell on a number of Suse Linux to Windows bridges including providing some Mono development support including moving Silverlight RIA technology to

But System Center is the first Open Source primarily, product software that I am aware of from Redmond – and the word from VP Bob Muglia, is it may not be the last.