Microsoft Invites Mozilla Devs Over

The head of Microsoft's open source lab is inviting Mozilla developers up to Redmond for some help in making sure Firefox and Thunderbird run on Windows Vista. The offer is part of a weekly lab Microsoft is holding for developers in order to reduce application compatibility problems.

With Windows Vista nearing its first release candidate, application compatibility has taken center stage. If customers' applications don't seamlessly work with the new operating system, many will hold off on upgrading. In turn, Microsoft has begun to seek out bigger developers and work with them directly.

For four days each week through December, Microsoft is hosting a Windows Vista Readiness ISV Lab. Although Mozilla competes with Internet Explorer, the alternative browser is also a top third-party application, and Microsoft's developer ecosystem is critical to the success of Windows.

"In the past the company has only invited commercial software developers to these labs. I'm committed to evolving our thinking beyond commercial companies to include open source projects, so I went to the non-trivial effort of getting slots for non-commercial open source projects," wrote Sam Ramji, Director of the Open Source Software Lab at Microsoft.

Ramji says the company will provide "secure office space for 4 people, hardware, VPN access, and 1:1 access to product team developers and support staff." Mozilla did not publicly respond to the invitation, but said it is in contact with Microsoft regarding the opportunity.

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