The latest stage in Microsoft's quest to establish The Facts regarding open source software is a series of seminars to be held throughout the UK, and tantalisingly billed as "Microsoft Windows and Linux - An open and honest technology discussion." Feedback The Register has received from (admittedly partisan) spies at previous Microsoft attempts to engage the subject suggest that they might perhaps have been just a tad less than open and honest, so it's nice to see that Microsoft UK must have been getting the same message from its own feedback.
There are four seminars, kicking off in London on June 10th and rolling through Edinburgh, Manchester and Newport. They're free, aimed at "Technical Decision Makers", and will discuss the "pros and cons of Microsoft's technology platform in relation to Linux and Open Source. We want to share with you the latest information we have, from all sides." Looking at the cast list we do have some small difficulty in identifying the representatives of all of the sides. As far as we can see there's two people from MS UK, a speaker from an ISV partner (we think we can guess whose), and an independent analyst from Meta Group, which we understand has worked for The Beast on the odd occasion.
And we should perhaps put Microsoft UK's PR handlers on notice that in the next couple of days we propose to call them up and ask for a list of those "cons of Microsoft's technology platform." Lists of pros we have a-plenty, but we don't recall Microsoft ever giving us a con-list. Get compiling, people, we'll be in touch.
You can register for a seminar here, and in the interests of the new Redmond glasnost we strongly urge you to do so. ®