As a developer on the Windows Azure team and one of the designers behind ASP.NET vNext, we can expect an interesting future from Michael Breuer. Indeed, as we look back at Microsoft’s long history in open source development, we see that his past experience will be influential to this new world.

Michael was born and raised in Oklahoma as a self-described “cowboy programmer” with roots in Python and PHP. After he entered college, he developed an interest in writing code for startups and joined several projects including: monetizing shared hosting providers (building out custom billing systems), building user management and analytics toolsets (for web application usage/activity tracking), and internet-based eCommerce (using various shopping carts, payment processing, refund management).

After studying computer science at the University of Oklahoma, Michael moved to Microsoft for a job in Windows client development. He began by doing MSI setup development using Ruby and C# but soon moved on to consulting projects building all sorts of apps. His most notable work remains his participation in the porting of Silverlight to iOS and Android via Xamarin.

The open source community is very important to Michael – he has helped organize hackathons for Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference every year since 2009, he has used his winnings from hackathon prizes to run one himself , and he even encouraged an old friend who was considering withdrawing from college due to finances to attend ‘just for fun’ after he won $1500 in the inaugural Windows Azure Hackathon!

When Michael isn’t working at Microsoft, you can find him traveling with his wife – but always bringing along an Xbox controller to game on. He also participates in triathlons and enjoys fishing, running, music festivals (he has attended more than 20 countries), hiking, camping, kayaking/canoing, backcountry snowboarding/skiing…and of course wearing his favorite cowboy hat almost everywhere.

Microsoft’s contributions to open source are quickly expanding as they continue to embrace new ideas. With skilled software professionals like Michael Breuer working there today, the company will likely be a world leader in tomorrow top technologies.