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Microsoft Launches OSS Site, Submits License For Approval 261

Posted by Zonk
from the working-together-hand-in-hand dept.
prostoalex writes "Microsoft has launched a site dedicated to collaboration between Microsoft and open source community. The site helps developers, IT administrators, and IT buyers find out what Microsoft's product offerings are, and read articles about open source such as 'Open Source Provider Sees Sales Doubling After Moving Solutions to the Windows Platform.'" Relatedly, CNet has the news that the company has submitted its shared-sources license to the OSI for approval.
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Microsoft Launches OSS Site, Submits License For Approval

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  • RUN AWAY!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Divebus (860563) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:02PM (#20002487)
    Do like Microsoft does with standards... run away as far as possible as fast as you can.
    • Re:RUN AWAY!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by snoyberg (787126) <`snoyberg' `at' `users.sourceforge.net'> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:42PM (#20002993) Homepage

      So, I'll take it as a given that no one reading this would ever consider contributing code to M$ "OSS" sites. So then the only other use for us would be to utilize their code in our products. I would recommend considering the following:

      • Are we guaranteed that the code is patent-free and will always be open for continued use?
      • Does their shared-source license allow easy mixing with other FLOSS code, eg GPL and BSD licenses?
      • Is there another, more well-established solution to the problem their code is solving?
      • And considering the "stability" of M$ products, do we even trust the code to do what they claims

      For me, it would be more trouble than it's worth to use M$ code in any of my projects.

      • Re:RUN AWAY!! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @06:21PM (#20003437) Homepage

        * Are we guaranteed that the code is patent-free and will always be open for continued use?
        You are not guaranteed that with any other free software program. In fact, it's almost guaranteed that it does infringe software patents (both those existing now, and those that will be granted in the future).

        * Does their shared-source license allow easy mixing with other FLOSS code, eg GPL and BSD licenses?
        The GPL doesn't allow easy mixing with code under any other licence, so this seems a little unfair - but yes, practically speaking it may be a problem. Mixing with MIT-style or new-style BSD code is usually unproblematic since you can just relicense that code to match the fussier licence.

        * Is there another, more well-established solution to the problem their code is solving?
        Almost all free software projects fail this test.

        * And considering the "stability" of M$ products, do we even trust the code to do what they claims
        The whole point is that you can read the code for yourself, so you don't have to trust anyone.

        I think a better list of things to consider is whether you have freedom to (1) use, (2) share, and (3) change the software. If you can do all those then it's free software, no matter which company it came from. There's no reason to hold Microsoft-written code to a different standard to other code. If it's free it's free.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by snoyberg (787126)

          * Are we guaranteed that the code is patent-free and will always be open for continued use?

          You are not guaranteed that with any other free software program. In fact, it's almost guaranteed that it does infringe software patents (both those existing now, and those that will be granted in the future).

          Let me rephrase: Are we guaranteed that Microsoft won't claim that it has patented the code after we start using it?

          * Does their shared-source license allow easy mixing with other FLOSS code, eg GPL and BSD licenses?

          The GPL doesn't allow easy mixing with code under any other licence, so this seems a little unfair - but yes, practically speaking it may be a problem. Mixing with MIT-style or new-style BSD code is usually unproblematic since you can just relicense that code to match the fussier licence.

          Using GPLed code under an M$ would almost certainly be problematic. I was talking about the other way. It's a lot easier to make OSS code GPLed than GPLed code go to a different license (aka, impossible).

          * Is there another, more well-established solution to the problem their code is solving?

          Almost all free software projects fail this test.

          What does that mean? Most FLOSS software reinvents the wheel? True. But if you're looking to use someone else's code, why start at Microsoft?

          * And considering the "stability" of M$ products, do we even trust the code to do what they claims

          The whole point is that you can read the code for yourself, so you don't have to trust anyone.

          It's possible to do so, but debugging so

          • There are actually some things Microsoft could open source that would be useful, for instance the newest version of whatever system they are working on, like SMB2. Those systems would be useful but i highly doubt Microsoft would ever open source anything important.

            Nothing they do, ever, will lead me to believe they are moving away from the destroy competition game.
            • Re:RUN AWAY!! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn@NOSPAM.earthlink.net> on Friday July 27, 2007 @01:49AM (#20006775)
              Remember that Open Source isn't the same as Free Software. And that open source is something still else...and can easily be "look but don't touch".

              Given that MS is asking OSI to approve their license I'd guess that it's not like the olde open source libraries that used to be provided...where the library was distributed, perhaps, along with a compiler, but you weren't permitted to use it with any other compiler.

              OTOH: This license was written by lawyers and proposed by MS. I'm not going to trust it until years have passed, and then only after a succession of lawyers have found it harmless. (IANAL, so I'm not going to trust my interpretation of something MS had a lawyer write for them, even though I'm allowed to read it, unlike their EULAs, where you must purchase the product to which they apply before you're allowed to read them. And then you've got to accept a new, possibly more restrictive, license with each bug fix.)

              I accept that it is conceivable that MS seriously is trying to make a truce. Unfortunately, given their track record the only safe and sensible response is to, at minimum, turn a deaf ear. So I'm not going to even bother looking. It might be tempting, but being tempted and succumbing would likely be fatal (economically if not physically).

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by HermMunster (972336)
          Utterly false. No Linux code violates other's IP. Period! Stop spreading FUD. There's no violation until a court of law states there is. As far as I can recall there hasn't been a single OSS product that was taken to court and lost a case of IP infringement. On the other hand OSS has been taken to court and become the victor, and as far as I recall nearly 100% of Microsoft's IP related cases resulted in them loosing in a court of law, some for very serious money, including near multi-billion judgement
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jacksonj04 (800021)
            Just because it hasn't been proven doesn't mean it has been disproven.

            The chances are there is some code somewhere buried in a piece of OSS (I don't care if it's Linux or not, SourceForge alone has 153,954 OSS projects as I write this) which violates somebody's IP, somewhere in the world. Large companies like, say, Microsoft make mistakes in including IP they don't own and I'm damn sure that there is code under an open licence somewhere which does the same.

            All you can state as a fact is that as far as you c
            • Re:RUN AWAY!! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday July 27, 2007 @12:07AM (#20006209) Journal

              The chances are there is some code somewhere buried in a piece of OSS (I don't care if it's Linux or not, SourceForge alone has 153,954 OSS projects as I write this) which violates somebody's IP, somewhere in the world. Large companies like, say, Microsoft make mistakes in including IP they don't own and I'm damn sure that there is code under an open licence somewhere which does the same.
              I think it would be all but impossible to develop any nontrivial software that didn't violate at least one software patent. It sure looks like it's damn near impossible to make sure that such violations don't exist, with the pathetically awful state of the patent system.

              The fact is that if Microsoft could kill Linux with all these wonderful patents it would have already. Just because something violates a patent doesn't mean that the patent should even exist at all.
        • >> * Are we guaranteed that the code is patent-free and will always be open for continued use?

          >You are not guaranteed that with any other free software program.

          But a submarine patent is not in the interest of a free software developer (severe loss of face) while M$ would benefit greatly from embracing and extinguishing FOSS.

          Besides WTF are you accepting so passively? If a patent ends up implemented in OSS one should prove the implementation has been stolen or the patent should have expired/not h
    • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Thursday July 26, 2007 @06:00PM (#20003195)
      It's a cookbook!!
    • Re:RUN AWAY!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HermMunster (972336) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @07:16PM (#20004075)
      There's as much chance as a snowball's chance in hell of Microsoft getting much support from OSS. Utter incompetence is involved in their attempt to embrace and extinguish campaign.

      Really, they have Ballmer yelling extortion attempts at every Linux user and they have some maverick manager or programmer, that while in Asia, claiming that 2007 is the year of the death of OSS.

      These people are not only distorted, they are crazy foolish.

      Microsoft needs to just understand that OSS will sooner or later out develop them. They need to also understand that everyone is on guard like a farmer with a shotgun protecting their daughters from the Microsoft Bible salesmen.
  • by gentimjs (930934)
    Yeah, and Attorney General Gonzalez swore to tell the truth before being questioned by the senate... And we all see how much -that- meant ...
  • by MosesJones (55544) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:04PM (#20002509) Homepage
    Is that Balmer has run out of chairs. By doing this he hopes to gain access to all the Open Source communities chairs.
  • by iknownuttin (1099999) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:04PM (#20002511)
    for their "Spin" artice [wikipedia.org] as an example.
  • Talent Poaching. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Prysorra (1040518) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:04PM (#20002515)
    PR. Free product testing.

    Any other ulterior motives?
    • by metlin (258108) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:11PM (#20002599) Journal
      If you can't beat 'em, join' em?

      I mean, at the end of the day, a large chunk of OSS developers also have regular day jobs coding proprietary software for money. The money in OSS is in support, not in the end product itself.

      Secondly, OSS only works for products, and we all know how the product-service life-cycle goes. So, if Microsoft can't make money out of a product, they can make money out of a service.

      And so, even MS can now say that they are doing that "Open Source thing" when a potential customer's (tech-ignorant) management asks them.

      This is probably a first step to that end. News at 11.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)

        The money in OSS is in support, not in the end product itself.

        This is true even of closed source software. MS may make some money selling copies of Windows, Office, and a bunch of other applications. But they also make a lot of money on support contracts, training courses, certifications, and all the other stuff that goes inline with selling the software. There is a lot of money to be made helping people use software, because most of the people using it have no idea how it works.

    • Yes.

      "Hey, we're contributing this code to the open source community."
      "Oh, cool, this is pretty useful, nice interface. "my mom likes it!" "Hm ... are we sure about this?" "Oh, hush!"
      *wait, wait, wait* *most OSS projects now include the code from the MS contribution* "OMG!!!! That was actually copyrighted proprietary code!"
      *wins enormous judgment against anyone using it*
      • by Lockejaw (955650)
        Wouldn't that be rather hard to hold up in court? An open source project wouldn't include code without a license to do so.
        • dual license, then you could try to slip it through. Especially, if the open code were pulled down (maybe even edited drastically), or just flat out deleted.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by CastrTroy (595695)
            That's why someone like Google should go to work indexing and caching their own copies of this stuff. Is there a service that lets you date files? I've always thought this was a good idea. Send a file over the internet to some organization, and they digitally sign it, and somehow include the date which it was signed. I'm not sure how easy it would be to implement something like this, or to prevent them from just signing something with some other date, but stuff like this would be useful for having veri
  • Wasn't this the same company that called the GPL a virus, and spread FUD about FOSS being communist and undermining the whole industry? Guess even the giants can change and adapt when pushed by something more pure than profits.
  • I mean, really... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Divebus (860563) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:07PM (#20002557)
    Microsoft is now trying to catch some of the OSS halo effect... while trying to figure out how to own it... or at least trash it? Who do they think is going to buy into anything like this? I guess when your primary business model is going down in flames, you need to co-opt someone else's.
    • by mr_mischief (456295) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:11PM (#20002601) Journal
      They've had a hard time vanquishing OSS by embracing and extending standards, so now they'll try to embrace and extend code and licenses.

      Expect the same tactics on different fronts. It's still Microsoft, and they are still run by the same inner circle of Gates and Ballmer cronies no matter what Hilf does from his little playpen.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by replicant108 (690832)
        They've had a hard time vanquishing OSS by embracing and extending standards, so now they'll try to embrace and extend code and licenses.

        Given the recent decision by the OSI to endorse badgeware [theregister.co.uk], the 'Open Source' community appear to be doing their work for them.
    • I guess when your primary business model is going down in flames, you need to co-opt someone else's.

      It would be great if M$ would GPL their work and become a normal software company instead of the freaky, paranoid monster it is. Fat chance. This site is pure PR to sell yet another SDK for non free crap [slashdot.org].

      M$ needs to do something, because Vista is a marketplace flop and the vendor revolt is on [slashdot.org]. Without vendor support, what do they have? Nothing [bayimg.com].

  • Interesting site (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilovegeorgebush (923173) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:09PM (#20002575) Homepage
    It seems Microsoft's approach on this site, is to twist the terminology and meaning of Open Source to link it to their products.

    From the site (microsoft.com/opensource), they've linked to a PDF [microsoft.com] explaining how SharePoint (first link, 'share' and 'open') is the 'Road To Open' and the Sharepoint Learning Kit (SLK) has been released under Microsoft's own OSI-submitted open source license.

    Could the idea be to confuse the average consumers (and buzz-word obsessed manager types) into thinking Microsoft when they hear 'Open Source'?

    Either way, it's interesting to see them formally acknowledge their opponents - again!
    • by jedidiah (1196)
      This just goes to show the problem with the whole "open source" versus Free Software idea in general. If you try to dress something up to make it more appealing to robber barons, you will probably create something that is much easier for those robber barons to hijack. There's a reason that Free Software gives some people the willies. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

    • by Divebus (860563)
      Well said. There have been signs of this "openness" pretense for a while. How does that saying go? "..but keep your enemies closer".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EricTheGreen (223110)
      Worse still, with this so-called 'product' in particular. The article goes into long,loving prose describing the development of the learning kit, it's functional origins in a now-defunct product, how it provides great value to education users, promotes peace throughout the land, etc... and omits how useless it is without having already purchased a decidedly non-open and very expensive SharePoint product.

      Where is the value here for the customer? This is an improvement,how? Great, customers get a developmen
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        and omits how useless it is without having already purchased a decidedly non-open and very expensive SharePoint product.

        Ok, this is my second 'non-anti-MS' comment today, and my karma will almost certainly suffer for it, but here goes anyway.

        The PDF linked to talks about Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0, which is actually zero cost and downloadable from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads [microsoft.com] - you seem to be making the assumption that its talking about Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007. Its not.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mrchaotica (681592) *

          But what good does "Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0" do you when you need proprietary software (namely, Sharepoint itself) to actually do anything with it?

  • Interesting strategic move, I assume they're trying to leverage the Open Source buzzword without buying in to the free as in speech model, which is where some of the more fascinating innovations in development and marketing could possibly be hatched. Will this make even a ripple in the free software community?
  • by PeterBrett (780946) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:14PM (#20002651) Homepage

    Windows is an pathetic excuse for a platform. It doesn't even properly implement the minimal syscalls required by the POSIX standard (open, close, read, write, fork, exec).

    If they actually cared about getting more open source developers to port their applications to Windows, they'd harmonise their API with the other major operating systems (Linux, OS X, Solaris, *BSD). As it is, this just looks like (yet another) an attempt by Microsoft to paint over the gaping flaws in both their business model and their approach to software development.

    Wake me up when that changes. Until then, I really couldn't give a shit about Microsoft's supposed "friendliness" to open source software or their non-free "open" license.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044)
      "If they actually cared about getting more open source developers to port their applications to Windows, they'd harmonise their API with the other major operating systems (Linux, OS X, Solaris, *BSD)."
      Windows isn't Unix. NT did include a POSIX system but that bit-rotted from lack of use and was removed I believe.
      Kind of like damming VMS or the AS400 for not supporting all the Win32 calls.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by EvanED (569694)
        NT did include a POSIX system but that bit-rotted from lack of use and was removed I believe.

        The POSIX subsystem is no longer included in Windows distributions, but you can still get it as a free download as part of Services for UNIX (SFU) [microsoft.com]. (You'll also see mention of it as the Interix Subsystem and the Subsystem for UNIX-Based Applications (SUA).)

        It is continually being maintained, and MS actually seems to have put an increased (albeit still small) push of it fairly recently. There is a fair suite of progr
    • by krelian (525362) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @06:13PM (#20003345)

      Windows is an pathetic excuse for a platform. It doesn't even properly implement the minimal syscalls required by the POSIX standard (open, close, read, write, fork, exec).

      Well, they don't really have to, do they? Who said that every OS needs to be POSIX compatible? If they thought POSIX was superior they would have based their system on it and not try to create a new one. Windows Services For Unix [microsoft.com]'s purpose is to help in migration and not be a full POSIX implementation.

      If they actually cared about getting more open source developers to port their applications to Windows, they'd harmonise their API with the other major operating systems (Linux, OS X, Solaris, *BSD). As it is, this just looks like (yet another) an attempt by Microsoft to paint over the gaping flaws in both their business model and their approach to software development.

      Wake me up when that changes. Until then, I really couldn't give a shit about Microsoft's supposed "friendliness" to open source software or their non-free "open" license.

      Microsoft's OSS purpose is not to spread free software and love but to help educate the people who use and develop for MS software. MS finally understands that letting developers peak inside and see exactly how the API they are using does its job is educational and helps developers create better software. This of course indirectly affects the quality of MS software and platforms and as a result, their bottom line.

      Their is OSS as a software development paradigm and their is Free software. Going Free is not going to help MS one bit, showing the world their code is.
    • by eht (8912)
      You obviously give enough of a shit to comment.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      Article:

      Microsoft Launches OSS Site, Submits License for Approval

      Your comments:

      Blah blah about Windows not supporting fork. "If they actually cared", "wake me up when", "until then, I couldn't give a shit", "gaping flaws in software development" and more cliches about how terrible MS is in principle, so anything they do sucks.

      So I'm sitting here wondering. WTF has your post to do with the article at hand. Do you just copy and paste this on all Microsoft related news? Definitely wouldn't be noticeable, it's
  • No good can come from this. Expect some MVPs donating code but real OSS developers? I dont think so =P
  • by pecosdave (536896) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:18PM (#20002705) Homepage Journal
    gives me a weird feeling in my stomache. I'm not sure what it is, but I got a chill up and down my spine. I can't catagorize either feeling as good or bad, just strange. When it comes to that empire my first question is usually what's their real objective, with this one I'm not 100% sure and that scares me.

    Does this mean we actually crossed over the line as legitimate to them, or is this bait for something else?
    • by mormop (415983)
      "gives me a weird feeling in my stomache. I'm not sure what it is, but I got a chill up and down my spine. I can't catagorize either feeling as good or bad, just strange."

      I think it may have been the same feeling you get when watching Salem's Lot when the Glick kid is floating outside Mark Petrie's bedroom window, scratching at the glass and asking to be let in. Ironically, I suspect that Microsoft has based this business strategy on the plot of Salem's Lot i.e. moving into a new town and picking the reside
  • Explanation please (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pubjames (468013) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:21PM (#20002741)
    Through that site I came across the "Microsoft Permissive License". The "conditions and limitations" of the license have this clause:

    3(B) If you bring a patent claim against any contributor over patents that you claim are infringed by the software, your patent license from such contributor to the software ends automatically.

    I don't understand this - can someone explain? If you bring a patent claim against a contributor then how does that contributor have a "patent license" that then ends?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sconeu (64226)
      "A" puts something patented in MS "Open Source" code. MSPL says you have a license to use that patent.
      You patent something else. "A" does something that you think violates that patent. You sue "A".
      Congratulations! Your license to use "A"'s patent has been yanked.
    • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @06:24PM (#20003473) Homepage

      It's a reciprocity clause. Suppose A holds some patents, and they've contributed them to software S and licensed them for use there. Now, B comes along and sues everybody using software S (including A) claiming that it infringes some other patents held by B. If B uses S themselves, the clause is intended to insure that B loses their license to A's patents, opening them to being counter-sued by A for patent infringement. The idea is to force a situation where a patent-holder can't block everyone else from benefiting from a piece of software while continuing to benefit from it themselves.

    • "I don't understand this - can someone explain?"

      It means if you are using someone's software which contains patented code, and you then sue that someone for infringing on any patent you may hold, your right to use the code covered by that someone's patent automatically ends.

  • Isn't it ironic how Microsoft's site dedicated to open-source has a big, fancy, proprietary Flash movie at its core?
    • Isn't it ironic how Microsoft's site dedicated to open-source has a big, fancy, proprietary Flash movie at its core?

      Curious question. How come Flash haters never demand to see or get a copy of the raw film footage after seeing their favorite movie in the theatre?

      Flash.fla is to Flash.swf as Film Reel is to Movie.

      I mean really, if we're going to be consistent here, ya really oughta bitch about the movie industry. :D

      (Oh, and just to cut anyone off at the pass with the expected reply of "We can buy

      • by byolinux (535260) *
        I believe the parent was talking more about the fact that Gnash (alpha quality) aside, there's no way for the people they're trying to reach to view a Flash movie whilst maintaining the consistent ethical view of the free software community.
        • I believe the parent was talking more about the fact that Gnash (alpha quality) aside, there's no way for the people they're trying to reach to view a Flash movie whilst maintaining the consistent ethical view of the free software community.

          I know. I was off topic on purpose. Ok. I'll be on topic this time.

          If anyone really believes that opinion, then they should start demanding OSS sites release PSD, AI, XCF, CDR, or SVG files pertaining to any raster images featured on the OSS site, because those file

          • by byolinux (535260) *
            Of course, that assumes such files exist.

            For example, I run http://www.gnu.org/ [gnu.org] - a lot of our graphics were created in the days before people did drawing on computers.

            But yeah, all our modern stuff should be up there.

            http://www.gnu.org/graphics/ [gnu.org] - go nuts.
            • But yeah, all our modern stuff should be up there.

              http://www.gnu.org/graphics/ [gnu.org] - go nuts.

              How about other projects? Other sites? sourceforge.net, ubuntu.com, gimp.org, inkscape.org, etc. Nearly endless list and then throw on top of that the other for profit OSS businesses such as RedHat, Linspire, etc.

              www.gnu.org/graphics does not negate my point. It only means YOU aren't hypocritical.

              • by byolinux (535260) *
                sourceforge.net isn't actually free software, so i wouldn't be surprised there.

                ubuntu are working on Gobuntu, which actually includes all the sources for all the videos, sounds, documents, etc included with it, but yeah, it's a point well made.

                happy hacking.
  • by skinfitz (564041) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:25PM (#20002801) Journal
    ...is to patent Open Source.

    That's right - all your codebase belong to them.
  • bullshit detector just blow up?

    Wasn't it within the last year that Balmy Balmer was frothing at the mouth about how he was going to destroy Linux and feed Torvalds to frickin sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads?

    I'd like to believe that the SCO experiment taught them OSS has a leg to stand on, but that would make me a starry eyed optimist and I'm just not.
  • It's a trap. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:26PM (#20002815)
    I haven't read the article, I haven't seen the site or the license they submitted.

    But I know Microsoft. It's a trap. Either short-term, or long-term. Somehow, this is designed to ultimately restrict our freedoms or slow down the replacement of non-free software with free software.

    You may call be bigoted, or a troll. I see my view on this particular issue as just highly conditioned from decades of experience.
  • by oneandoneis2 (777721) * on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:32PM (#20002897) Homepage
    I blogged on the subject recently: [oneandoneis2.org]

    MS has a number of proprietary things that the FOSS world would like to get inter-operable. The NTFS file system. The Office formats. Etc. etc. And the EU has been nagging at them to release interoperability information for ages.

    Since MS seems to really dislike GPL v3, they could solve a lot of their problems with a simple move: Release all the code necessary to get interoperability under Linux working. Under GPL v2 only.

    Take Samba. Samaba is going GPL v3-only. If MS released some significantly-big swathes of code under v2-only that resulted in much better Linux-Windows networking compatibility, a lot of people would use the MS-code with the last GPL-v2 release of Samba: Most end users are more concerned with how well software works than with which license it's released under.

    That would leave the Samba team with two choices: Stick with GPL v3 and have a less-popular, less-functional fork of their own software. Or cave in and go back to GPL v2 so they can take advantage of the GPL'd code from MS.

    And either way, MS would be able to show to concerned parties, such as the EU antitrust people, that they have finally released the code that the FOSS people have been demanding, under the single most popular FOSS license in current use.

    • by mikelieman (35628)
      That's a WIN, by the way, for the OSS Community. GPLv2 is JUST FINE, and if MSFT is suckered into that route, I see nothing but upside.

    • by sconeu (64226)
      Re: Samba...

      <RUMOR>
      I've heard that the MS guys don't *KNOW* everything their network stack does, and use the Samba stuff as documentation.
      </RUMOR>
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darth (29071)
      except that the Samba team would then use the gplv2 code to be able to see both sides of the process and be able to more accurately document the protocol. Then they would reimplement the protocol in their own code under gplv3.

      This would do nothing to stop the gplv3 from being adopted by Samba.

      I dont think microsoft has any intention of using any version of the gpl. They are trying to get their shared source licenses approved as official open source licenses.

      I think the point of this is that open source appl
    • That wouldn't be very effective for Microsoft. It doesn't matter under which Free license the mythical MS interoperability code is released since the concepts are not restricted. All it takes is for someone to document what the code does, then the Samba team could write its own implementation.
  • I'd just read a story on how Steve Ballmer said that "the company is tackling disruptive technology changes head-on" and both Steve and Bill were uncharacteristically telling analysts that everything was smelling like roses at Microsoft. Now, seeing this story of what's really MS "Get The Facts, Part Deux" and I'm thinking that the "disruptive technology" Balmer spoke of was probably not Google but more likely was Linux, OSS, and AJAX technologies.

    IMO, it appears that Linux and OSS is making enough of a den
  • Open source IE. 'Nuff said.
    • by Shados (741919)
      Considering the blogs of the people from the IE team, especially an interesting one that I read a while back that was about how they patch IE's bugs using external proxy processes and crap, I think thats the last thing we'd like to see. Since Microsoft's wake up call around 2004-2005ish, they've been doing some pretty decent code. The one thats not full of legacy crap, thats the one you'd be interested in seeing (of course, most of it is in .NET and you can look at it in Reflector, so....)
  • I think we should all vote MS off of FOSS Island at the end of today's episode.
  • by opieum (979858) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @06:25PM (#20003485)
    Well this is interesting. It is the equivalent of asking a Nazi about Jews and expecting objectivity. Also MS is having trouble having people developing on their platform. They are losing developers for Mac OS and Linux. People know a sinking ship when they see one. Plus the subtle jabs they take at developers claiming that it is their software causing security problems (which is partly but not totally true) why would anyone want to develop for MS when OSS provides full flexibility. People can see the code and not come up with hackish solutions or workarounds to problems they may encounter. http://www.cio.com/article/122152/Microsoft_Window s_Loses_Ground_With_Developers_Survey_Says [cio.com] With Vista being a mess of compatibility and DRM/WDM/"Security" laden crap, it makes it hard for any real innovation to happen in the application space. I used to work for MS. One of the biggest gripes I heard was that drivers were always made wrong. Applications were usually buggy which caused problems with the OS. While again that is PARTIALLY true, part of the problem was the fact that I later learned (after I left MS for the real world) that coding for Windows platforms is a PITA. The closed nature makes everything a hackish effort. Workarounds here, hooks there. Linux, BSD and other open source kernels out there have easy access to the lowest level if necessary of the kernels and OS in general. This makes it extremly easy to integrate with a minimum to intermiediate learning curve (if you are coming off Visual Studio specifically)
  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @06:41PM (#20003677)
    This is how to do it:

    "Claims that Open Source Software would be legally troublesome or low quality are completely unfounded. Plenty of large organisations are deeply ivolved with open source development and recognise its potential. As an example, even Microsoft, a company traditionally commited to the closed source model and a long standing sceptic of many open source projects, has recently started to use it for its own codebase and has launched open source initiatives of its own: . Althou the project has had some problems, some of whic were related to the inability of the closed portion of the software to interoperate with the open bit, the work proceeds and recent developments has lead some analysts to predict the company may consider using the same model for other projects as well."

    Lets see them try to argue with that one... If they claim the article is accurate they will be promoting OSS. If they claim the project has problems they are admitting that yet another of their projects is a complete failure. If they try to claim the proprietary bit is doing well but the open bit is doing bad, they will piss off anyone participating which could easily lead to a good chunk of bad press. Lets help them shoot themselves in the foot.
  • Microsoft will survive this one only because they aim so badly that they miss their own feet.
  • Who's going to represent the OSS community on this site?
    Neville Chamberlain [wikipedia.org]?
  • I have to say that this reminds me of all the ridiculous stuff the Soviet Union cranked out during the height of the Cold War in the 1980s. The Berlin Wall is for defense against Western Attack, we would have elections but the people are perfectly happy with the Communist Party, and now, Microsoft says that Open Source works best on Windows. It all just goes hand in hand.
  • .... read articles about open source such as 'Open Source Provider Sees Sales Doubling After Moving Solutions to the Windows Platform.'"

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