The company has always professed to detest the concepts behind Linux and open source software, so the move is being treated with some degree of suspicion.
Soon after news of Microsoft's attendance at the open source show was announced, Peter Houston, senior director of Microsoft's Windows Server Product Management Group, said the show's audience is important to Microsoft. The company has some great products to show them, he added.
In the past, Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer has described Linux as a "cancer" with "the characteristics of communism".
This will not be the first time Microsoft has rubbed shoulders with the open source community. Last year Microsoft took part in a debate at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention and no blood was spilled. Tim O'Reilly, founder and chairman of O'Reilly & Associates, noted that people become more moderate and open when they speak with those who hold opposing views. "This is just an early step in the dialogue, and I think it is going to continue for quite some time," he said.