I'm pinch-hitting on this weekly column for our Digital Content Editor Libby Clark just one more week before she returns to the office. Stories topping the list this week include Fedora 17 and its focus on open cloud integration, Mary Jo Foley's report that Microsoft's Azure will, indeed, include persistent virtual machines for hosting Linux, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's take on cloud computing as illustrated in his onstage interview with Kara Swisher at this year's D10 Conference. 
Joab Jackson  reports on the release of Fedora 17, which includes a new version of the OpenStack platform. Code-named "Essex," Red Hat is expected to adopt it in future releases of RHEL.
Mary Jo Foley  this week started quite the news thread when she all but confirmed the rumors that Microsoft will include persistent virtual machines hosting Linux on Azure. This is important because without "persistent" VMs, users would lose any data stored when rebooting their systems, making it difficult for Microsoft to fully compete with Amazon Web Services. While ComputerWorld's Preston Galla wrote a blog responses titled "Microsoft's New Tune: We Love Linux,"  don't bet on Microsoft getting too cozy with Linux. Linux server revenue grew faster than Windows  in Q12012, according to the latest IDC reports. Microsoft is a fierce competitor and we expect it do everything in its power to address its slowing revenue on servers. Microsoft will play nice with Linux only as long as it suits its needs and no more.
Arik Hesseldahl reported just last night on Larry Ellison's interview with Kara Swisher at the D10 Conference. Much of what he discussed was about cloud computing and the fierce competition taking place here. He asserted more than once that cloud computing is just a fancy way of saying the Internet. He said that all Oracle apps would be in the cloud by June 6, and that for the first time in IT, there is more attention and opportunity on the consumer side than on the business side. If true, it will be interesting to see how openness and the open cloud play into new technologies being developed to address this.