Microsoft hasn't always been a fan of open source, but its recent work has (sometimes inadvertently) done a lot to support the movement. Now, the company has just formed a new subsidiary that's supposed to help increase engagement with the open source world. Called Microsoft Open Technologies, it's formed from the current Interoperability Strategy team and led by executive Jean Paoli for a total of 50 to 75 people.

Paoli says that other Microsoft groups will continue to work on open source solutions, but that Open Technologies will operate outside them to "provide a new way of engaging with open-source communities in a more clearly defined manner" and to bridge "Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies... Over time the community will see greater interaction with the open standards and open source worlds." Earlier this month, Microsoft was reported as on of the top 20 contributors to the Linux Foundation. Microsoft's obviously still in competition with Linux and other open source platforms to some degree, but hopefully this is a sign that it's committed to a stronger working relationship.