Given what an ardent critic of Microsoft I can be, it might be surprising that the Open Source Business Conference will feature a keynote from Brad Smith, Microsoft's General Counsel. I invited Brad to take our "footnote" slot that Clay Christensen, Eben Moglen, Geoffrey Moore, and others have held. It's our prime slot, and Brad will fill it well.
Why let Microsoft speak? For one, because I've always felt Microsoft had more to give to open source than to take from it. This is why Bill Hilf has been on the OSBC advisory board since its formation, and has done excellent work for the conference.
But also because I'm tired of the whisper campaigns and backlash (including in this blog) that has come to constitute the industry's debate between Microsoft and open source. I invited Brad to keynote because I doubt anyone else could put forward Microsoft's position more succinctly or intelligently. He's a great person and a razor-sharp lawyer.
Which is why I need you. The format for the keynote will be interesting, and should lead to true discourse: 30 minutes of Brad, 30 minutes of rigorous cross-examination by an expert panel from the open-source community, and then 30 more minutes of general Q&A.
Who do you think should be on the panel?… Read more