Linked by David Adams on Fri 25th Jun 2010 20:29 UTC, submitted by martini
GNU, GPL, Open Source Last April I was on a Microsoft interoperability and Open Source conference in Ecuador (South America). On this conference Microsoft spread the word that they support Open Source Software and they do have an OSS strategy. But by checking their OSS Strategy I just felt something sour in my mouth, so I wrote this article to explain it.
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by Moochman on Sat 26th Jun 2010 07:44 UTC
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They've been saying this for a while: "OSS is good as long as it runs on our platform". And of course the more of "our platform" is used, i.e. the further up the stack, the more of it proprietary and MS-based, the better. That's why they came up with CodePlex--a place for people to post OSS projects, as long as the underlying technology comes from MS. So yeah, no real change in strategy.

Adobe does something similar, in that they support all kinds of OSS projects that require a proprietary runtime and/or proprietary tooling and/or proprietary server technology. Basically they use OSS as a "fill in the gaps" approach wherever they don't feel like putting the extra effort into documenting and supporting a commercial solution and/or when it bolsters the sales of commercial solutions. BlazeDS is a poorly-documented, limited version of LiveCycle meant to entice people to upgrade, and the Open Source Media Framework is a front-end media-player that they didn't feel like building into Flex core, that is chock full of proprietary features to encourage more use of the Flash Media Server. Not to say any of these technologies are bad, just that their motivation for being open-source is questionable.

It's hard to break away from these kind of tactics; even in the Java world there's plenty of similar cases of libraries and tools that try to entice you to use exclusively one or another vendor's products and support. Luckily with Java at least the base platform is open-source and portable, which at least provides some peace of mind.

Edited 2010-06-26 07:50 UTC

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