Apparently the result of Scoble’s influence on Microsoft’s culturepor the slumbering giant is final waking up. Jim Allchin wasn’t kidding about “hearing us” (the open source community that is) as evidenced by Bill Hiff‘s explanation of this new site:
So why is it called Port 25? Some background on port numbers first. SMTP is short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and is the protocol for sending email messages between servers or from a mail client to a mail server. On a server, the port for SMTP is 25. When you open a port on a server, such as to allow for SMTP traffic, it is commonly referred to as â€˜listeningâ€™ on the port. Port 25, therefore, is a metaphor for how we are opening the communication lines to for a discussion around Open Source Software and Microsoft. Cute, huh?
It’s like an open source feedback loop for Microsoft? Fer rizzle? Shucks man, that’s so… neat!
So …if Microsoft can open up, why can’t our government go more open source? Why are there leaks? When was the last time an open source project dealt with a leak? Exactly.
Now imagine if the government published something like this on whitehouse.gov:
What will you find here? This will be the place we not only blog, but also where we put analysis from our OSS labs and also where we discuss and show other parts of [the government] that we think are just plain cool or interesting. I think what youâ€™ll see here over time is how a bunch of open source guys inside [the government] think, as well as people and technologies inside [DC] that we think other folks like us would find interesting as well.
So, there will be much more to discuss, debate and learn from together â€“ but for now, port 25 is open.
It’s kind of like bringing in a bunch of minority party folks together to create a “work tank” of sorts (thanks Lane) to keep the majority party in check, seeing as how there’s no one in government doing that now.