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OSDL boss hints at M$ collaboration

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Microsoft software designed specifically to run on open source platforms such as Linux could be closer to reality than previously thought, according to comments made by the head of Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) on Monday.

Stuart Cohen, OSDL's chief executive, claimed that it was quite likely that Microsoft would begin developing applications to run on open source platforms in the near future.

"I would not be surprised to see them [Microsoft] participate in software that runs on top of Linux in the future," he said.

Cohen added that proprietary software development was enormously important to the future of Linux and open source software, and that they would continue to co-exist. "There is an opportunity for a tremendous amount of software, mostly proprietary but some open source, to be developed on Linux. Proprietary continues to grow and grow rapidly," he said.

Cohen's comments come at a time when the hard battle lines between Microsoft and the open source community appear to be softening. Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer recently met with Red Hat chief executive Matthew Szulik for more than an hour at a McCormick & Schmick's restaurant in New York.

And in late May Microsoft hired Daniel Robbins, the founder and former chief architect of Gentoo Linux, one of the most popular and highly regarded Linux distributions.

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