Desmond File

Blog archive

Opining on Openness

Our buddies over at Redmond magazine are at it again, poking around Microsoft about issues related to open source and discovering some very interesting things in the process. Whether it's Ray Ozzie's touted Live initiatives or the SourceForge-esque CodePlex site for sharing open source code, it's clear that Microsoft has been changing its tune.

The question is: What tune will it eventually follow? While Microsoft's open source maven Bill Hilf is saying (and to some extent, even doing) all the right things, suspicions about playing ball with the original 800-pound gorilla abound.

The most telling quote comes from Michael Tieman, president of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), who chides Microsoft for the lack of transparency with its various licensing structures: "We don't want anyone claiming they are open source if they aren't. Microsoft has always extended a friendly gesture to anyone willing to build on the Microsoft platform, and then kept the other hand clenched to strike if that application company becomes successful."

Is Tieman being too hard on the Redmondians? Maybe. As Hilf points out, the company has sued over IP infringement only twice in its history. And with so much open source software being developed for Windows, there's definitely a platform imperative for Microsoft to get in on the open source applications game.

What do you think? Could Microsoft's engagement help advance and diversify the arena of open source development? Might we be looking at a classic Trojan horse gambit to inject Microsoft IP deep into open projects? Or is it simply Microsoft doing what it does best: protect, extend and leverage its Windows platform into growing markets?

You tell me, and let me know how these concerns impact your development efforts. E-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 03/21/2007 at 1:15 PM


comments powered by Disqus

Featured

  • Top 3 Blazor Extensions for Visual Studio Code

    Some developers prefer to create applications with Microsoft's open-source Blazor tooling from within the open-source, cross-platform Visual Studio Code editor. Here are the top tools in the VS Code Marketplace for those folk, as measured by the number of installations.

  • How to Invert a Machine Learning Matrix Using C#

    VSM Senior Technical Editor Dr. James McCaffrey, of Microsoft Research, explains why inverting a matrix -- one of the more common tasks in data science and machine learning -- is difficult and presents code that you can use as-is, or as a starting point for custom matrix inversion scenarios.

  • Microsoft Engineer: 'It's Time to Move OData to .NET 5'

    Microsoft engineer Sam Xu says "it’s time to move OData to .NET 5" and in a new blog post he shows how to do just that.

  • Microsoft Goes Virtual with Developer Education in Face of COVID-19

    Like many organizations that host developer educational events, Microsoft has gone virtual amid shelter-in-place directives and a surge in remote work stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Microsoft Enhances Low-Code Power Apps

    Microsoft's nod to the low-code movement, Power Apps, has been enhanced with a bevy of new features, including mixed reality, canvas/model support in a new mobile app, UX improvements and more.

.NET Insight

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Upcoming Events