Home > Open Source > Microsoft Learns To Live With Open Source Microsoft Learns To Live With Open Source Thom Holwerda 2005-07-11 Open Source 19 Comments Two years ago, software engineer Shaun Walker got an e-mail from a Microsoft product manager, suggesting ways to keep Walker’s development project from foundering. One important note: Walker’s product is open-source. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 19 Comments 2005-07-11 1:42 pm embrace and extend springs to mind… this time the extensions will be patented but original available for free. 2005-07-11 2:50 pm rm6990 embrace and extend springs to mind… this time the extensions will be patented but original available for free. Not necessarily so easy. Depends on how it is licensed. If it is GPL, and some of the extensions contain non-Microsoft code, and Microsoft asserts patent rights against the extensions, their rights for that code under the GPL terminate. Some other licenses, such as MPL and CDDL, are even more explicit in this regard. 2005-07-11 2:16 pm fishsticks Naturally, MS will support open source when it is to their benefit. Why not? Their allegiance is to their bottom line, and their shareholders. Now, they simply give a little support to an ambitious programmer who makes a a web content/creation program that works with Windows and .NET (therefore providing compition to a competing Linux platform, for example) AND they don’t have to hire their own team of programmers to make it. And at the end of the day, they can take credit for providing the cash and support to make it. MS didn’t get this huge by being dumb; this is another example. 2005-07-11 2:46 pm MS never really had that much of a problem with open source, aside from so called security issues. What they hate is the GPL and sharing. 2005-07-11 3:11 pm Motz For example, Microsoft customers can oversee Linux servers with Microsoft’s management software, and they will eventually be able to run Linux and Windows on the same machine–a startling change from previous policies. I guess I can’t have been dual booting RedHat and XP last year then. Oh well, it’s fixed now, I’m only running Gentoo on this machine 😉 2005-07-11 4:24 pm Matt Giacomini No the author is right. Microsoft is going to support running Win and Linux on the box together at the same time, not just dual booting. 2005-07-11 3:18 pm TBPrince Note that application they’re talking about is using a BSD-style license. Also, I didn’t like very much that author stated that MS considered open-source a cancer, which is blatantly false. I would expect from people writing for CNET to be a bit better informed about what they say. Of course, I can understand that without blurring edges of what MS really said one couldn’t write an article about a non-news (that is, the subject of whole article). So one should also notice that there’s an huge interest in pretending that MS is trying to kill open-source software because that’s how cheap authors can fire an usual war between Good and Evil. MS doesn’t like the GPL. It’s also easy to understand why and I bet this is just a position, a respectable one as there are many others. It would be easier to discuss about such matters if we weren’t struck into a religious war which media have interests to feed. Talking about the subject of this article: why is that a news that Microsoft is interested in helping a good project to grow? Is that even a news? 2005-07-11 4:06 pm Also, I didn’t like very much that author stated that MS considered open-source a cancer, which is blatantly false. “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches” Steve Ballmer, June 1, 2001 Chicago Sun-Times interview. It’s a well known quote. I guess you mean that the author blantantly took the CEO at his word, when it is somehow well known that he didn’t mean it. 2005-07-11 4:19 pm rm6990 I’m going to give you a crash course in english. Generally, when two words are different, they don’t mean the same thing (there are exceptions, this not being one of them). This is espescially the case when the two words aren’t the same kind of words, such as Linux and Open Source. Now, in this case, Linux is a noun (either describing the Linux kernel or the GNU/Linux OS) and Open Source is an adjective, a phrase used to describe the development model and licensing policies of a piece of software. Or are you speaking the other English, because in the English I speak, you essentially clarified what the other poster said because Linux is GPL’d. In-case your still not understanding what I am trying to say, I’ll make it easy for you. Linux != Open Source Did I make it clear enough??? If not, then I suggest you retake English 101. 2005-07-12 5:05 am Linux is licensed under the GPL GPL is a type of Open Source License Therefore Linux is Open Source. Let’s try the opposite. FreeBSD is licensed under the BSDL BSDL is a type of Open Source License Therefore FreeBSD is Open Source. You need to learn how logic works. 2005-07-12 6:23 pm rm6990 Holy crap…I thought I had spelled it out clear enough, but apparently not. Alright, I’ll try again, modifying your example a bit. John : I hate Windows. Windows is proprietary software. Mac OS X is proprietary software. Does this mean John hates Mac OS X??? As I said before, Linux is open source, but does not equal open source. Balmer can hate Linux without hating all Open Source. Just like a FreeBSD user may hate Linux but clearly does not hate all Open Source. 2005-07-11 5:54 pm TBPrince “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches” Steve Ballmer, June 1, 2001 Chicago Sun-Times interview. Other user already replied to this. The target of this sentence is Linux because it’s a GPL’ed product. My remark was even broader than this because MS doesn’t like GPL, not Linux per se. Again, my complain was about media which fuel that misconception. I’m not saying that MS is right, just that cheap journalism is bad. 2005-07-11 4:43 pm Microsoft is *not* anti-open source; they’ve never been anti-open source. Microsoft is anti-GPL. And by the looks of things, MS isn’t the only one. The BSD project is anti-GPL as well, however, those headlines aren’t as sexy… 2005-07-11 9:31 pm Microsoft is *not* anti-open source; they’ve never been anti-open source. Nonsense, this is typical Microsoft marketing droid revisionism. Their chutzpah is incredible. It’s a real shame these people can’t be jailed for fraud. They’ve always been on about hiding/protecting their “valuable intellectual property”. Hence pseudo-open source “shared source”, which they only released when they felt they had to. True open source, open standards and open competition is completely beyond them, though I live in hope that maybe in a decade or two they will get it. For a shining example, just look at their core document formats and protocols, which, even when they “open” them they use every means at their disposal to stop use uncontrolled by them. 2005-07-11 7:19 pm I disagree that Microsoft has warm feelings about open-source, and that their only problem is with the GPL. Gates has stated publicly in the past that free software was ‘communist’. He didn’t mean that in a good way. He was waving a flag that Americans should be opposed to free, and the government should support him. There has been some PR work lately, where Microsoft wants to soften their image a bit. I think perhaps there is some acceptance now on their part that they will have to coexist with serious, free alternative software. 2005-07-11 10:03 pm Huh? Your hatred of free speech is affecting your judgement. To suggest anyone be jailed for “fraud” just because of what they said is nothing but communism. Further, your disgust at intellectual property certainly makes you look foolish. MS is entitled to say whatever they what however they want when they want. If their products are labelled as intellectual property then fine. If I wanted to patent an electronic toilet paper feeder and call it intellectual property, that is my choice. Why are you and so many other linux zealots against this concept? 2005-07-12 12:52 pm Rodrigo Anyone who thinks that such a huge company is simply “against open source” has to be very simple-minded. One thing is what you’d expect Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer to say in an interview or conference, another thing altogether is the culture inside each department. When a company gets so big such as MS, it’s like having dozen of different companies, each with its own culture and vision, under the same name. And certainly the “.Net company” inside MS is not so paranoid, at least while they had bright guys like Rob Howard there. 2005-07-12 3:47 pm Anyone who thinks that such a huge company is simply “against open source” has to be very simple-minded Whoever doesn’t believe what you believe is an idiot? – That comment shows how daft you really are. If you don’t think MS has been spending alot of time and money to hurt Linux and open source, then you either work for MS or have a really nice pair of rose colored glasses. MS doesn’t care how big or small someone is – that is the ideaology behind a monopoly – there can be only one. By the way .. what color is the sky in your world? You certainly don’t spend much time on Earth. 2005-07-12 7:50 pm “It’s a well known quote. I guess you mean that the author blantantly took the CEO at his word, when it is somehow well known that he didn’t mean it.” He didn’t mean it? Well since you brought it up, what exactly did he mean?