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Friday, September 11, 2009
Microsoft Funds Open Source Foundation

The CodePlex Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities, launched today, September 10, 2009.

Incorporated as a 501.c6 non-profit, the CodePlex Foundation was created as a forum in which open source communities and the software development community can come together with the shared goal of increasing participation in open source community projects.

Initial funding for the Foundation comes from Microsoft Corporation, donating U.S. $1 million.

CodePlex Foundation will be complementary to the software ecosystem and is not designed to compete with any of the existing open source foundations, according to Bill Staples, the General Manager for the Web Platform and Tools Team at Microsoft and a member of the interim CodePlex Foundation board. He hopes that the CodePlex Foundation will bring commercial and open source software development communities even closer. However, Microsoft's support of the Foundation is really the next logical step in the company's work with and engagement of open source software communities, and does not signal a shift in Microsoft's open source strategy, Staples said.

Over the past few years Microsoft has become increasingly supportive of open source, including sponsoring the Apache Software Foundation, contributing to the PHP Community, participating in Apache projects - including the Hadoop project and the Qpid project - and participation in various community events such as OSBC, OSCON, EclipseCon, PyCon, and the Moodle Conference.

"Our hope is that new opportunities will emerge for Windows and .NET developers to more actively participate in open source development through the CodePlex Foundation," Staples said.

Sam Ramji will serve as interim President of the Foundation. He will be supported by an interim Board of Directors, whose other members are Bill Staples, Stephanie Boesch, Miguel de Icaza, Britt Johnston, and Shaun Walker. Mr. Ramji and the interim Board will immediately begin a search for a permanent Executive Director, who will manage the day-today operations of the Foundation, as well as a permanent Board of Directors and a Board of Advisors.

There are a number of ways for individuals and companies to participate in the Foundation - via sponsorship, or by becoming a member of the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors. Over the coming months, the Board will determine how projects are accepted as it defines project governance, which will provide clarity on how individuals or companies can contribute projects.

The Foundation's bylaws can be viewed here.

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