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Microsoft website on Open Source

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  • User profile image
    Sabot

    Here !


    From the FAQ ...


    "Q. What is Microsoft's perspective on open source?

    Open source is neither an industry fad, nor a magic bullet. Rather, the development methods commonly encompassed by the term open source have provided customers and developers with additional options among many in the technology ecosystem.

    Q. What is Microsoft's open source strategy?

    Microsoft is a platform company committed to building technologies that empower communities of developers and partners to deliver compelling software solutions to customers. This approach is reflected in the size and health of the technology ecosystem in which Microsoft participates:


    750,000 partner businesses around the world that, according to the findings of a global study of 22,000 technology companies, earn an average of $8 in revenue for every $1 earned by Microsoft.
    5,000,000 developers around the world who have created a vast array of applications using Microsoft platform technologies such as Microsoft Windows, Windows Live, Microsoft Office, .NET platform, Microsoft Windows Server, and Microsoft Xbox.

    The Microsoft open source strategy is focused on helping customers and partners be successful in today's heterogeneous technology world. This includes increasing opportunities for business partners regardless of the underlying development model. In addition, it includes increasing opportunities for developers to learn and create by combining community-oriented open source with traditional commercial approaches to software development.

    Q. Is this a new strategy?

    In a heterogeneous technology world, developers, users, and entrepreneurs choose technologies that help them be successful. Today, numerous open source developers and business partners have chosen Microsoft technologies:


    Developers have created more than 79,000 open source applications using Microsoft platform technologies that are available on the Sourceforge.net and Codeplex.com repositories.
    Many companies who have chosen to build businesses around open source software are working with Microsoft to deliver value to our shared customers, including SugarCRM, MySQL, Novell, JBoss, Zend, XenSource, Sun Microsystems, Mozilla, Aras, SpikeSource, and Xorp.

    Q. Does this site replace Port25 or CodePlex?

    No. This site is intended to provide information about Microsoft and open source in one place, serving as a gateway for information about open source engagements and activities across Microsoft. CodePlex is the Microsoft open source project hosting Web site and will continue to be a resource for developers and consumers of open source projects. Port 25 is the public portal for the Open Source Software Lab at Microsoft, and will continue to be a resource for technical insights, blogs, and how-to information for the use of Microsoft and open source technologies together.

    Q. Does this mean Microsoft is phasing out the Shared Source Initiative?

    No. This site is intended to provide information about Microsoft and open source in one place, serving as a gateway for information about open source engagements and activities across Microsoft. This includes announcements concerning releases of Microsoft code for community development through the Shared Source program; however, the Shared Source Initiative (SSI) will continue to encompass the spectrum of programs and licenses offered by Microsoft to various communities of customers, partners, developers, and other interested individuals. This includes not only the processes for Microsoft product groups releasing source code for community development, but also, for example, the Government Security Program (GSP) for national governments and international organizations; the Windows Academic Program, supplying universities with concepts, code, and projects useful for integrating core Windows kernel technologies into teaching and research.

    Q. What is the Microsoft position on intellectual property (IP) and open source?

    Intellectual property (IP) serves a vital role in maintaining a healthy cycle of innovation in the IT industry. IP concepts—including copyright, trademark, patent, or public domain—are useful for developers to define terms of use that enable their project or business to thrive, regardless of what development model they choose. "

    So there's me thinking that Microsoft was anti-Open Source? The conclusion I draw from reading this is Microsoft isn't against Open Source but isn't the only option they support.

    So what makes Microsoft position in reality any different from Sun, Oracle and IBM and therefore the target for such industry derision?

    Perhaps Microsoft actions of the past have pointed to a different policy and this is just a softening of the approach but I have to say that MS have been giving code away for years so wrapping it up in a pretty bow and calling it Open-Source made it different how exactly???

    I'm not a Microsoft Zealot but if someone could explain I would be grateful for the clarity.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Sabot wrote:
    

    So what makes Microsoft position in reality any different from Sun, Oracle and IBM and therefore the target for such industry derision?



    Because they're evil.

    Honest.

    Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Sabot wrote:
    So what makes Microsoft position in reality any different from Sun, Oracle and IBM and therefore the target for such industry derision?


    IBM, Sun, and Novell put their lifeblood into F/OSS. Oracle is evil anyway (tried using PL/SQL lately?), but they're not "evil evil". Just "passive evil". They don't activly do evil things.

    It's to do with culture. Microsoft has (or had) the "Embrace, extend, extinguish" thing going on.

    And what about their pushing of their so-called OpenXML series of formats? This is paying lip-service. If they really want open formats they should use OpenDocument, and if ODF isn't suitable there's nothing stopping them from extending it in an open manner.

    They just want a format they control in its entirety. I trust the C# guys more than the Office guys because there's more to be gained by being evil in the Office dept. than DevDiv.

    Sabot wrote:
    Perhaps Microsoft actions of the part have pointed to a different policy and this is just a softening of the approach but I have to say that MS have been giving code away for years so wrapping it up in a pretty bow and calling it Open-Source made it different how exactly???


    It isn't open-source unless the OSI says so.

  • User profile image
    cornelius

    i much preferer the microsoft version of "open source" or for that matter BSD version than the GPL'ed version of "open source" which is spread around by fanatical zealots who think software is a religion and who would fit nicely into medieval europe

  • User profile image
    Massif

    Flippant answer: Because they're Microsoft.

    Slightly less flippant answer: Because historically MS have been extremely competetive, and not afraid to take advantage of their size to achieve their goals.

    Which is all well and good for most companies, but MS's position as a de-facto standard on the desktop means this kind of behaviour is naughty. Unfortunately, like any child they didn't know the boundaries (neither did the rest of the world... including an internet browser is evil? who knew that before everything exlpoded?) so they've had the wrists slapped many times over the past few years.

    Which got them the reputation as being evil.

    Which means when MS say "the GPL is like a cancer" (which it is) there's a huge outcry about how evil they are versus saintly OSS folks.

    But most people have grown up now, MS are just about leaving their teenage years. (Following the standard charming wizzkid->moody git->socially-awkward-but-trying behaviour of any teenager as they mature.) So hopefully they'll mature into a fine company, and all these tantrums can be left behind.

    BTW on my personal scale this puts MS at somewhere around 17, and apple are still in the oh-so-opinionated 14-15 range where they think they know everything, and they're just about smart enough to make you think they do.
    the UNIX crowd are settling into a fine and grumpy mid-thirties (kids these days!)
    Linux is still the gushing 13 year old who's going to save the world. (They get some extra years by borrowing from the UNIX crowd.)

    Please don't read anything more into this analogy than necessary, being older doesn't make you any better.

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    W3bbo wrote:
    

    Sabot wrote:
    Perhaps Microsoft actions of the part have pointed to a different policy and this is just a softening of the approach but I have to say that MS have been giving code away for years so wrapping it up in a pretty bow and calling it Open-Source made it different how exactly???


    It isn't open-source unless the OSI says so.


    Perhaps the OSI should trademark 'Open Source' to protect it.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    W3bbo wrote:

    And what about their pushing of their so-called OpenXML series of formats? This is paying lip-service. If they really want open formats they should use OpenDocument, and if ODF isn't suitable there's nothing stopping them from extending it in an open manner.

    They just want a format they control in its entirety. I trust the C# guys more than the Office guys because there's more to be gained by being evil in the Office dept. than DevDiv.


    The standards process doesn't work like that. Once ISO approved, ISO controls the format, not Microsoft. An individual entity can't arbitrarily change an ISO standard, regardless of the role they had in creating it.

    ODF is far too incomplete to be taken seriously. It is currently impossible to implement without relying heavily on reverse engineering OpenOffice and it simply can't retain full fidelity with Office documents without adding so many extensions as to defeat the purpose. And that's before you even begin to consider some of the performance implications of decisions they've taken.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Sabot wrote:
    Perhaps the OSI should trademark 'Open Source' to protect it.


    So you're saying it's acceptable for companies to call their software "open source", even if it doesn't meet any of the OSI's criteria, simply because the OSI haven't trademarked it?

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Er... why not?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    So you're saying it's acceptable for companies to call their software "open source", even if it doesn't meet any of the OSI's criteria, simply because the OSI haven't trademarked it?


    • The OSI is not an independent body.
    • The process of approving a license is not entirely transparent.
    • You can meet every one of their criteria and still have the license rejected.
    • There have already been calls to reject any Microsoft license from OSI members, regardless of terms.

    Does that honestly sound like the organization who should be the ultimate arbiter of 'open source'?

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    AndyC wrote:
    

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    So you're saying it's acceptable for companies to call their software "open source", even if it doesn't meet any of the OSI's criteria, simply because the OSI haven't trademarked it?


    • The OSI is not an independent body.
    • The process of approving a license is not entirely transparent.
    • You can meet every one of their criteria and still have the license rejected.
    • There have already been calls to reject any Microsoft license from OSI members, regardless of terms.

    Does that honestly sound like the organization who should be the ultimate arbiter of 'open source'?



    So then Open Source is not only a type of licensing model but also a technology bias?

    So ultimately for a business like mine that wishes to stay vendor and technology neutral then there is little value in placing much effort in backing it?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Sabot wrote:
    
    So then Open Source is not only a type of licensing model but also a technology bias?

    So ultimately for a business like mine that wishes to stay vendor and technology neutral then there is little value in placing much effort in backing it?


    Not Open Source, per se, but the OSI much like the FSF is unquestionably a politicly motivated organisation unlike a real standards body such as ECMA or ISO.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    W3bbo wrote:
    

    IBM, Sun, and Novell put their lifeblood into F/OSS. Oracle is evil anyway (tried using PL/SQL lately?), but they're not "evil evil". Just "passive evil". They don't activly do evil things.


    SUN? Hahaha. Please. Sun open sourced Java. Kind of. Still not complete. As as a last ditch attempt.

    IBM? They're using it to sell consultancy, and the bigboys toys aren't anywhere near open source.

    Novell? Hmm maybe. By proxy because they bought Suse.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    blowdart wrote:
    SUN? Hahaha. Please. Sun open sourced Java. Kind of. Still not complete. As as a last ditch attempt.


    OpenSolaris? The opening up of the UltraSPARC T1 microprocessor?

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    blowdart wrote:
    SUN? Hahaha. Please. Sun open sourced Java. Kind of. Still not complete. As as a last ditch attempt.


    OpenSolaris? The opening up of the UltraSPARC T1 microprocessor?


    Open Solaris? Hmm opening an OS to compete against Linux, then giving up is a good thing? And really, come on, how partical is opening a CPU? Has anyone developed a clone?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    blowdart wrote:
    Open Solaris? Hmm opening an OS to compete against Linux, then giving up is a good thing? And really, come on, how partical is opening a CPU? Has anyone developed a clone?


    It's more than Microsoft's ever done. I don't see them making "OpenWindows" or GPLing the specs to the Xbox.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    blowdart wrote:
    Open Solaris? Hmm opening an OS to compete against Linux, then giving up is a good thing? And really, come on, how partical is opening a CPU? Has anyone developed a clone?


    It's more than Microsoft's ever done. I don't see them making "OpenWindows" or GPLing the specs to the Xbox.


    And why should they? Really? Throw away income? Yea, I can see the shareholders going for that. Or have we forgotten the shareholders have a lot of power?

    *shrug* I'd rather seen open standards than open source. And the current office format doesn't count.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    Why doen't the Office format count?  And what about C# and the CLR?  They've also contributed to most ISO standards.  A large part of the HTML/XHTML standards came from Microsoft.

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