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No, coming from Microsoft doesn't make it bad from a technical point. It makes it bad because Microsoft is openly campaigning against the Linux platform. There is NO patent protection in using their platform. FOSS is better off steering clear of this technology. Adobe on the other hand, is opening the specs on their products so that GPL'd versions (Gnash and others) will actually work right without having to reverse engineer everything. There are also opening up their development tools to Linux. When Microsoft actually starts working with open standards and file formats, then it will be time to consider their technology.
There is NO patent protection in using their platform.
If I understand it correctly (and I very well may not), the patent protection was one of the big things in the Novell-Microsoft agreement. It was essentially an agreement of patent and lawsuit protection between both parties. Perhaps I could be wrong but that was my understanding of it after reading it. Edited 2008-05-15 15:18 UTC
So that means you are tied to Novell/Microsoft not just Microsoft.
Edit: And I'm not sure exactly how much the Novell conenant not to sue actually covers. Edited 2008-05-15 15:48 UTC
MS has opened the specs of the .Net CLR, C#, and Silverlight. In fact, MS has been helping the Mono guys do Moonlight, with docs, support, etc.
I get as mad as anyone at Microsoft for their business tactics, and some of their software being crap, and not being totally customer focused. But some software MS does is very good, and MS isn't always evil. So a little level headed balance is in order.
Always proceed with caution when dealing with MS tech compatibility. But don't reject it outright.
BTW - I just downloaded the Moonlight plugin into my Firefox, running on Mandriva 2008 Spring, restarted Firefox, then went to the MS Silverlight demo website, and it worked flawlessly.
I'm glad I have the choice to use this. There are, and will be, websites that use Silverlight, and I love that I now have the ability to view those sights on Linux.
Also, as a developer who works in both a Windows world and *nix world, I'm glad I have an sdk for .Net and Silverlight to run on Linux.
Also, back to the tired old concern about MS patents - the .Net CLR and C# are open ECMA standards with "no sue" declarations, and MS has completely opened up the Silverlight specs to the Moonlight guys, and even helped them with docs and technical support. Also, it is very much in Microsoft's interests to have this *nix implementation, and with no effort on their part.
So, in short, don't worry, be happy - but still keep a weary eye
"It makes it bad because Microsoft is openly campaigning
against the Linux platform."
It is bad for vulnerable people to patent FUD.
Is bad for people with an anti-ms agenta.
But is fine for:
People who knows patent FUD is just that, FUD.
People who wants functionality and have a life.
So, there is your answer.
Well heres an example of your guarantee. In an article (Microsoft fights piracy through openness) on Inquirer.net, the author talked about Microsoft's new push to be open.
"When working with Microsoft's patented communication protocols, the company will provide a promise or covenant to open-source developers so that they could do their work without further needing to get their patent rights from the company."
In response to this statement, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel Brad Smith was quoted as saying:
"But then if open-source software is distributed commercially, for example by a company or used commercially by a company, then we would expect people to think about our patent rights. And if they need a patent license, they could come and get one from us."
So what? We only get left alone if we don't make any money or try to distribute it? Thats some promise. I guess Microsoft has a patent on making money now too. Only someone who is completely clueless would trust Microsoft not to sue them if there is money involved. And how the hell does a promise stand up in court? Its not a legally binding contract under law.