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Of course, this has always been the case at Microsoft, what with MSN Messenger and other products incorporating open-source components for years, but this is perhaps the first time that Microsoft has publicly welcomed open source as part of its software infrastructure, and has shown a desire to contribute back to existing communities. Microsoft's Scott Hanselman enthusiastically acknowledges the inclusion of jQuery:
...[W]e're using jQuery just as it is. It's Open Source, and we'll use it and ship it via its MIT license, unchanged. If there's changes we want, we'll submit a patch just like anyone else. JQuery will also have full support from PSS (Product Support Services) like any other Microsoft product, starting later this year. Folks have said Microsoft would never include Open Source in the platform, I'm hoping this move is representative of a bright future.
In the server market MS have been loosing in terms of saturation for years, Apache is by far the most used http server.
Microsoft have recently done a very brave thing by providing funding to the Apache foundation. You may think why?, but lets face it, Apache runs just as well on Windows as IIS or Windows server. I think MS need to keep their base. In this case the base is the operating system.
The desktop OS market is where MS can't aford to loose.