Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sat 9th Aug 2008 23:00 UTC, submitted by fsmag
GNU, GPL, Open Source When the story about Microsoft shelling out $100,000 to Apache for ASF sponsorship broke across my radar it rather tickled my funny bone and my curiosity. When ASF Chairman Jim Jagielski declared that "Microsoft's sponsorship makes it clear that Microsoft 'gets it' regarding the ASF" I had a fit of the giggles and then, like many others, I started to ponder on the reasons why and what it actually meant. Gary Richmond explores Microsoft's motives. You can read the full article at Freesoftware Magazine
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Bit of a conspiracy
by AndrewDubya on Sun 10th Aug 2008 00:34 UTC
AndrewDubya
Member since:
2006-10-15

I'm not sure I buy the article completely, but I definitely understand caution when dealing with Microsoft in any way.

First of all, Microsoft doesn't clearly gain anything from contributing to the Apache Foundation, do they? I don't think their contribution gives them any access they didn't have before, unless you count access to the minds of open source developers ;) My guess would be that people aren't just going to trust Microsoft though.

I think Microsoft has benefited from younger computer geeks pirating Windows and development software like Visual Basic and Visual Studio, and Apache and PHP are taking away from the mindshare they get from that, but I'm not sure they're really concerned about that either.

I don't know what the answer is to the licensing issue. If I released open source code, it would likely be related to bridging multiple layers together, and it would take a lot of convincing to get me to release something like that under the GPL, since it would limit the interest in the library itself. I'd almost certainly release a big app as GPL.

Honestly, my best guess is the move is more political than anything else (in the sense of both government [aka antitrust] and social [why do you still hate us, OSS community?]). It could just be Microsoft trying to cover their bases, but they know the open source community is going to remain skeptical. I see no reason not to take their money, but still question any requests they make that may seem tied to it later ;)

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