Microsoft invites Mozilla developers to Redmond

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Microsoft has extended an olive branch of sorts to Mozilla Corp., inviting its developers to Redmond to ensure Firefox and email suite Thunderbird will run on its upcoming Vista operating system (OS).

Sam Ramji, the director of Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab, posted the invitation to a Mozilla development newsgroup, and said the Redmond, Wash., software company has decided to extend such an offer beyond corporate developers.

"As part of my mission as an advocate for open source applications on Windows, I've gotten spaces set aside at the Windows Vista readiness independent software vendor lab," wrote Ramji. "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."

Microsoft's next generation Vista OS will offer a bevy of new security features for home and office users, according to public statements by Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect, and other high-ranking company officials.

Mozilla developers have been invited to a four-day program in Redmond, which is held every week through the end of this year.

Studies have recently shown that Mozilla's Firefox - which offers a reduced number of pop-up windows and additional security features - now occupies up to 15 percent of the browser market.

The popularity has come with some drawbacks, however, as researchers have warned that Firefox, as well as Macintosh browsers and OSs, are increasingly a valuable target for hackers.

Click here to email online editor Frank Washkuch Jr.

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