July 30, 2007

Microsoft's open source licenses.

Microsoft seems to be trying to create a open source license after all the criticizing it had done in recent months. They appear to be working on a new license for their own open source code and software and get it approved by OSI. So Microsoft has submitted its so-called shared source licenses to the Open Source Initiative for certification as true open-source licenses.

Microsoft initially started off with the relase of Windows Installer XML on SourceForge almost three years ago. After this Microsoft has released 650 internally developed software programs to the general public via its shared source program. At the same time don't expect Them to release Windows or other major revenue making software to be released under the shared source licenses. These shared source applications are hosted at Microsoft's CodePlex site, which is equivalent to SourceForge.They have come up with three licenses:
  • Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL)
  • Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL)
  • Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL)
According to Microsoft,if the licenses are approved, should give the community additional confidence that the code they sharing is truly Open Source. But I wonder how the OSI team and the open source community will take this. This is mainly because of the recent behavour of the company with copen source community.They have claimed that Linux and other open-source products infringe on 235 of its patents. Apart from this they reached agreements with Novell Inc and other vendors like Linspire which brought a split within the Linux community.

So, If Microsoft joins the open source technology like Nokia, Apple and others, will we have a mind shift from Microsoft? Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who once called Linux "a cancer"! And
now they seems to criticize and follow the open source line!

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