Bill Hilf, The Man Who Made Microsoft Embrace Open Source, to join HP

Bill-Hilf-2008-01-2Bill Hilf, the man is most popularly known for his role in introducing Microsoft to open source has bid adieu to the company. Reportedly, he is joining Hewlett-Packard and his role will be to transform HP into a serious cloud player.

Bill Hilf was the general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud service. He is now HP’s ‎vice president of converged cloud products and services. This brings him competing against the Windows Azure along with Amazon Web Services.

Hilf told Wired in an exclusive, “My job is build the future portfolio for HP across the board. That’s what I’m in the throes of doing right now.”

Hilf was also associated with IBM where he helped them adopt open source in the form of the Linux operating system. He built a number of big business tech using Linux and other open source software tools.

However, unlike IBM, Microsoft was a tad bit slow to catch on to the open source bus. Hilf had shared in 2012, that “Microsoft called up and said: ‘We don’t understand this open source stuff. And we need people who do. I was like the first astronaut on the planet.”

Initially Hilf’s role was more like a mentor teaching the company how open source works, however, soon he went on to create an open source lab inside Microsoft. He then dealt with all the anger and scepticism that the open community had about Microsoft.

Coming to the strategy, Hilf said, “We want to be the world’s best provider for enterprises who want to build ‘hybrid clouds’ — things that mix public cloud services with private service that are on premises.” He added, “HP is in the middle of a tremendous turnaround, and I thought it was time to be part of something like that. It’s the original Silicon Valley startup, and it’s transitioning to new growth.”