School is a fantastic place to learn, but what if you could introduce students to open source projects, with real problems to solve, and fantastic developers to work with? We thought that would be a pretty terrific way of spending the summer, and with the help of 40 open source, free software and technology-related groups, that is exactly what we did. We call this project the Summer of Code.

Organizations like Apache and Samba and projects such as Nmap, Gaim and Internet2 took part in this program.

Together with these partners, we chose 400 students from 49 countries to take part - and this from a pool of 8,744 applicants, so clearly there's no shortage of talent. We contributed nearly $2 million to this effort via $4,500 grants to each of the participants (and a $500 donation per student to the participating organizations).

Nmap's lead developer, Fyodor Vaskovich, told us that Summer of Code developers "made major improvements to the Nmap Security Scanner, including a more powerful graphical interface and a next-generation remote operating system detection framework." To that we say: excellent. Here's a partial list of participants and projects, and we even threw together a map so people can see how global this program was.

Now that summer is over, we've got a new thing going. Today at the Oregon Governor's office in Salem, we're announcing our support of an open source initiative which two men, Bart Massey and Scott Kveton, at two schools, Oregon State University and Portland State University, have worked very hard to create. Over the last few years, they have collaborated to encourage open source software and hardware development, develop academic curricula and provide computing infrastructure to open source projects worldwide. We're pleased to be able to support their efforts with a donation of $350,000. Here's the official press release about this fantastic project.