We're now hearing more about Microsoft embracing open-source and Linux, with soon the launching of a website that will get feedback from existing customers who use both Microsoft and open-source solutions. Then again, that seems exactly like gathering intelligence. Microsoft does just more than keep its enemies close, employing hundreds of Linux-based servers themselves to see how software fares in real world environments, performing benchmarks and analysis and checking interoperability. .
Many companies employ software from various camps, which will always be true, so it is Microsoft's interest to make sure they can work with other companies. Is this good? Is this bad? Hard to say.