Microsoft finally gets Open Source?

The OSI, the body which unilaterally maintains the list of “approved Open Source Licenses”, has approved the application from Microsoft for 2 of theirs to be deemed officially Open Source.

Acting on the advice of the License Approval Chair, the OSI Board today approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL). The decision to approve was informed by the overwhelming (though not unanimous) consensus from the open source community that these licenses satisfied the 10 criteria of the Open Source definition, and should therefore be approved.

On a personal note I am somewhat disappointed at the news, and rather more sceptical about Microsoft’s intentions behind this than some others. It seems clear however from the commentary around the blogosphere that this was fair, un-biased and the licences are indeed valid. So hey-ho, let’s give them a chance to prove me wrong.

I really, sincerely hope that they do “get” Open Source and start to work with the community in a more helpful and conciliatory manner than thus far.

After Steve Balmer’s recent comments about Red Hat though, I can’t be absolutely sure. Can you?

This feels just a bit like Red Riding Hood sitting down to have a nice chat and cup of tea with granny…

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  • If you were Steve Balmer what would you do with regards to open source? Would you GPL everything? Give it away and build a service business on the back end?

    Great way to turn a multi-billion dollar company into a billion dollar company.

  • Alan Lord says:

    “If you were Steve Balmer what would you do …” Probably the only decent thing and kill myself.

    More seriously, I’d just look at how IBM, Sun and, to a slightly lesser extent Oracle, have either embraced Open Source in a major way and been very successful by so doing, or in Oracle’s case, being open [pun intended] to Open Source and engaging with the community to enable greater and better support for their products.

    Open Source is probably not going to go away anytime soon. Microsoft really need to wake up and start changing their sad old business model before it’s too late. ALL of their main competitors have…

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