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Windows 8 Store Will Allow Open Source Apps

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the dogs-and-cats-living-together dept.

Microsoft 333

MrSeb writes "Some interesting legalese found in the recent publication of the Windows Store Application Developer Agreement could signify a very big win for the open source community. The section in question states that apps released under a license from the Open Source Initiative (GPL, Apache, etc.) can be distributed in the Windows Store. Further, it says that the OSI license will trump the Microsoft Standard Application License Terms, namely the the restriction on sharing applications. As for the reasoning behind this big about-turn, it could be down to Microsoft trying to soften the blow of its Android patent litigation — or maybe Redmond is just trying to differentiate itself from Apple, which famously restricts open source-licensed apps from being sold in its iOS and Mac App Stores."

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Microsoft and open source (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346380)

As for the reasoning behind this big about-turn, it could be down to Microsoft trying to soften the blow of its Android patent litigation — or maybe Redmond is just trying to differentiate itself from Apple, which famously restricts open source-licensed apps from being sold in its iOS and Mac App Stores.

Or what about if Microsoft just doesn't have anything against open source projects? They have several ones themselves [codeplex.com] , have helped writing some Linux code and in every other way have softened themselves about open source.

Microsoft has never really locked down their desktop OS either. It has always been open in a way that it lets you run anything you want. Be it open source or proprietary code. Microsoft doesn't care - they're primarily selling their OS, and their OS has always came with the promise of you're being able to run anything you want. That is also why Windows has such a large market place for all kinds of applications and games. Being able to run anything you want, from any vendor you want, has always been one of the largest selling points of Windows.

Allowing open source programs isn't really problem for Microsoft..
- Linux still cannot compete on desktop. Much larger competitor to MS is OSX, and even then MS does programs for Mac too.
- As far as mobiles go, Microsoft already gets lots of money for every Android device sold. Microsoft wins in either case, be it Android or Windows Phone that is selling better.
- OpenOffice is a toy compared to MS Office. It's missing lots of features, isn't user friendly, it's slow and generally just works badly.
- Visual Studio is much better programming IDE than open source ones, especially when you add visualAssist to it.
- There isn't any open source competitors for Xbox 360. None.

It isn't about "softening the blow" or anything to those lines. Microsoft has just seen that open source really cannot compete with quality products.

Re:Microsoft and open source (5, Insightful)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346448)

Hmmm, I was taken in right up until the end where you said that "open source really cannot compete with quality products"!

Nice bit of flamebait for Mozilla, Apache, Google devs to be trolled by, if I do say so myself!

Re:Microsoft and open source (2, Interesting)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346534)

Looking at what Firefox has become, I'm not so sure. Sure, there are some good open source products, but they're usually backed by huge corporations like Google or Apple. They both contribute to Webkit and Chromium. Firefox comes from Netscape and is currently a joke. Apache is backed by huge companies [apache.org] .

Apart from those, are there actually open source projects that can compete with proprietary counterparts? Especially on less popular niches like industry products or games (even though games is a popular niche, but there still isn't any good open source games or game engines).

Re:Microsoft and open source (3, Insightful)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346620)

Now try to find high quality propriety products that are not backed by huge organizations. (Size of the backing organization and license used are different topics; you're trying to mix them and so your conclusion is flawed.)

Re:Microsoft and open source (1, Troll)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346698)

Now try to find high quality propriety products that are not backed by huge organizations.

Uh, there's lots of them for all industries and niches. You can find almost any app you would ever want. There's tons of small companies making products that are proprietary. They're good too, and continuously supported by said companies. That same can't be said for majority of open source projects, which really often just die or aren't finished.

Re:Microsoft and open source (3, Informative)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347096)

PostgreSQL has who? Really... As well as OpenERP and a plethora of many OSS projects. Heck, Apache HTTPd became the dominant web server without any support from major players.
In addition, majority of software projects die anyway, OSS is no exception to the general trend. And most software is as horrible as OSS, making OSS just as successful as proprietary software.

Re:Microsoft and open source (4, Informative)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347038)

Apart from those, are there actually open source projects that can compete with proprietary counterparts? Especially on less popular niches like industry products or games (even though games is a popular niche, but there still isn't any good open source games or game engines).

ffmpeg and vlc, I can't think of any propriety program that can dream of competing.

Re:Microsoft and open source (1, Funny)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346550)

Mod parent furry

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38347022)

Mod parent furry

I was going to, but then I was presented with the choice of closeted or "convention-attending, public yiffer" furry.

Please advise.

Re:Microsoft and open source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346864)

He's right. There very few open source applications that can compete with commercial software and the ones that can are usually lower level system tools and other stuff that most end users won't ever touch directly.

Re:Microsoft and open source (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346458)

Microsoft has just seen that open source really cannot compete with quality products.

Mod parent funny.

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346492)

Can someone mod parent furry?

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346604)

Yeah, your parents were funny looking.

Re:Microsoft and open source (-1, Offtopic)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346532)

Do mods really miss half-decent First Posts and then change their mind when they see a comment like this?

I doubt it.

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346768)

Do mods really miss half-decent First Posts and then change their mind when they see a comment like this?

I doubt it.

Hell no. But I do mod comments like those as off-topic, as well as comments like this one. It's a good thing I'm not so mean-spirited as to click troll instead in the hopes of messing with their karma.

Seriously, though, guys give it a rest. You're not changing the mods' opinion (not favourably anyway) and you're pushing other potentially deserving comments further down the page.

Microsoft is less evil than they used to be (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346478)

because their competitors are getting stronger (Mac, Linux, Google).

Actually I like the "new Microsoft". They seem a great deal more willing to engage in community process than they used to.

Microsoft is more evil than ever (4, Informative)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346584)

Maybe you have missed all the hyper-aggressive fivilous patent lawsuits that microsoft routinely files against Android users?

Re:Microsoft is more evil than ever (2)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346684)

patent lawsuits ... against Android users

Why yes I have missed these lawsuits. Can you please inform me?

Re:Microsoft is more evil than ever (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347124)

Can you bring up the technicality that doesn't make Moto or B&N Android users?

Re:Microsoft is more evil than ever (1)

TommyGunnRX (756664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346778)

Oh man... did I miss my subpoena? Can a corporation open a class action lawsuit against a population? Anyway, the lawsuits do seem a bit frivolous... but they will force companies to be a little more transparent.

Re:Microsoft and open source (5, Insightful)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346484)

Huge agreement on Visual Studio being superior to pretty much any other IDE I've ever encountered, but, I'll disagree with a few other points: - OpenOffice is, by and large, more than sufficient for most users. Yes, a few things are missing, but, for the average user, they wouldn't miss those features. - Microsoft would likely prefer that Android didn't exist and that they could corner that market. It's not just the money from sales, it's losing some developers to mobile phones, and not to -Microsoft- mobile phones. This likely doesn't sit well with them, for various reasons. While I don't think this is a "Post-PC" world, yet, Microsoft would do well to try to innovate and gain market share in the tablet and phone arenas.

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346520)

Argh, why did my post remove the formatting? Do I need to use html tags to create line breaks or something?

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346668)

Yup, HTML cares not for your silly whitespace, it only respects tags!

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346692)

yes, you do need to use html tags to create line breaks or something.

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346706)

Yes, I use two brs for a one-line

gap.

Re:Microsoft and open source (2)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346752)

Next time you post, click on Options, and from the "Comment Post Mode" drop down select "Plain Old Text"

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346878)

Just change it here and be done:

https://slashdot.org/prefs/d2_posting [slashdot.org]

I always keep the posting mode set to "Plain Old Text". I can't imagine why anyone would want it set to anything else, actually.

Re:Microsoft and open source (-1, Troll)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346806)

My mom had a horrible experience with OpenOffice recently. She just wants to print out some address labels and the only way I could figure out how to do this involved making a database. You shouldn't have to make a database to print address labels.

Plus the crash dialog when it crashed in the middle of her work was too wordy for her (it was trying to get her to submit a crash report, something she wouldn't have cared about at all) and didn't even restore any of her work when it claimed to.

It didn't help that she expected me to know everything, despite me repeatedly telling her that I did not know how to do labels with OpenOffice any more than she did. So it ended up being a horrible experience for me, too.

In the end, it would have been quicker for her to make the labels using a typewriter.

Of course I blame Dad for not installing LibreOffice in the first place (he thinks OpenOffice is the same OpenOffice) but I can't claim I know it would be any better.

Re:Microsoft and open source (2)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346982)

OpenOffice is, by and large, more than sufficient for most users.

If you you going to place the "more than sufficient" conditional, you can say the same about Notepad or Wordpad for word processing.

I personally just love Excel and would not replace it for any other spreadsheet if I have the financial stance to do so (and I have OpenOffice in my home machines.)

Word is also a great word processor. A bit bloated (and thats being kind) but the spell shecking and proofing tools are the best out there. For "prettier" letters, though, I rather use Apple's Pages.

Access... hmmm... I am so past it... but then again I'm a professional SQL administrator. It has it's uses, I guess. I can say its light years ahead of OpenOffice's Base and dont think Apple offers an alternative for macs (then again nor does Microsoft.)

Powerpoint is easily replacable, though.

To be honest, the only reason I dont have Excel on every single computer I owe is the price and licensing. I have 3 desktops and 3 laptops at home alone. 2 of these are Windows PCs the others are Macs. It's either get Office family pack and install in just 3 machines, buy iWorks cheap and use on every Mac without headaches or legal issues, or get OpenOffice on every mac and PC. I still end up not using spreadsheets much out of the office, though, because I cant tolerate the crippled experience (in my opinion) that is Calc or the fashionable but cruncher unfriendly Numbers.

It also bothers me that, should I want Excel, I'm forced to buy all of office. I cant just buy Excel.

On the topic if the Microsoft App Store: I got to say, Microsoft needs a software store and it needs it 10 years ago. I still remember the first time I logged into Windows XP and saw something called "Windows Software" or "Windows Software Catalog". My brain went highwire thinking "Finally!!! An online solution where I can get software without worrying the apps may be the mallware infested stuff I risk myself to every time I download from Download.com!!!!" Big disapointed when I realized it was just a website to order snailmail copies of microsoft products.

A software store will heavily revitalize the windows experience in the desktop, just as it has done with the Mac OSX.

Re:Microsoft and open source (2)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347016)

Talking of spell checkers.... ugh... forgot to run this through one...

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347042)

Perhaps "More than sufficient" is a bit of a loaded phrase.

Most people that I have asking me for Microsoft Office just want to write a couple of documents. For these users, they would be better served with Libre or Open Office.

Outside of those users, yes, Excel is a great tool. Word, while bloated, does have some nice features (the user above mentioned labels/mail merge) that are awkward or non-existent in free applications.

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347106)

It also bothers me that, should I want Excel, I'm forced to buy all of office. I cant just buy Excel.

You are wrong. In fact, you can buy just Excel [microsoftstore.com] . It's just that it will cost you $139.99; at that price point, most people would spend the extra money to get all of Office.

Re:Microsoft and open source (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346576)

Visual Studio is much better programming IDE than open source ones, especially when you add visualAssist to it.

*sigh*
/goes back to adding a debug printf in gedit.

Re:Microsoft and open source (4, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346634)

Or what about if Microsoft just doesn't have anything against open source projects?

More precisely: maybe MS doesn't have anything against open source projects that don't compete with their own products. Another option might be that Apple is a bigger evil to MS than making room for a few open source apps in their app store. Or MS fears losing their share in some markets & makes some concessions in order to stay relevant.

Microsoft has never really locked down their desktop OS either. It has always been open in a way that it lets you run anything you want. Be it open source or proprietary code. Microsoft doesn't care - they're primarily selling their OS, and their OS has always came with the promise of you're being able to run anything you want. That is also why Windows has such a large market place for all kinds of applications and games. Being able to run anything you want, from any vendor you want, has always been one of the largest selling points of Windows.

That's just flamebait... The primary reason for MS being dominant on the desktop is that newly bought computers nearly always come with it pre-installed, people got used to it, and it's good enough. Combined with a hefty dose of marketing, and perhaps a shady deal or two to make life hard for competitors. The landscape is changing, but anyone who believes otherwise is an idiot.

Re:Microsoft and open source (-1, Troll)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346670)

The primary reason for MS being dominant on the desktop is that newly bought computers nearly always come with it pre-installed, people got used to it, and it's good enough. Combined with a hefty dose of marketing, and perhaps a shady deal or two to make life hard for competitors. The landscape is changing, but anyone who believes otherwise is an idiot.

Then why do users that know how to install Linux still continue using Windows or OSX? Even most geeks I know use either one, but no one actually uses Linux on desktop. On servers yes, but not on desktop.

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346804)

Then why do users that know how to install Linux still continue using Windows or OSX? Even most geeks I know use either one, but no one actually uses Linux on desktop. On servers yes, but not on desktop.

And the thought that geeks you know may not be representative of the rest of the world didn't come up in your mind?

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346860)

Ha! wait. Does that mean a bunch of people I know are not anyone?
Linux is no good for up-to-date gaming or specialized stuff (other than coding) but otherwise its a heck of a lot better value that what MS provides.

Re:Microsoft and open source (4, Informative)

gorzek (647352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346892)

Games. Why do people always ask this? Most games don't work on Linux.*

* At least not without an excessive amount of fiddling and configuration and praying.

Re:Microsoft and open source (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347036)

Hi. I use Linux on a desktop. And a netbook. And servers. How is it? Very nice actually.

There you go, now you can say you know somebody :)

Re:Microsoft and open source (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346826)

More precisely: maybe MS doesn't have anything against open source projects that don't compete with their own products.

More precisely: maybe MS doesn't have anything against projects that don't compete with their own products.

Lets face it, in capitalism, no mater how much they claim otherwise, all companies hate competition against their products/services. And I don't believe MS has ever been dishonest enough claim or insinuate otherwise. They don't care about the source of the competition (open or closed), merely the quality and aggressiveness.

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346880)

Oh, and I know a lot of people who use windows, not because of what you said, but because it suits their purposes better, with them having to spend less time working about making the computer run, and more time doing what they want with the computer. And, yeah, I use windows because the large amount of software with the highest (ease of use * features)/flaws ratio that I find there, better than the alternatives. However, in some cases, I use FreeBSD or Linux because for what I want to do, they have the better solutions. Most people don't do the things that fall into that latter category, however.

Re:Microsoft and open source (2, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346680)

As of Gnome 2.0 and KDE 3, Linux was more than capable of providing an acceptable desktop user experience, especially Ubuntu's releases. Unfortunately the very latest releases don't support my Logitech Track Ball, so I use an older 10.04.1 release which still has a couple glitches with the trackball support as well, but I can't fault Linux as a whole for me wanting to use a 12+ year old "mouse".

Open Office/Office Libre are more than adequate for the vast majority of home users. The extra "features" in the official Microsoft Office product line are wasted disk space for the majority of document editors. I can't speak to spreadsheets, as that's never been a technology I made much use of, and I've always preferred other tools for diagramming. Open Office does a perfectly acceptable job of editing and presenting overheads, the only non-document-editing requirement I've ever had for an office package. As to "slow" -- what are you running -- a P3?

Eclipse is actually a more functional and better designed IDE than Visual Studio. However, Visual Studio doesn't compete with Eclipse, it competes with Mono, and the Mono environment for Linux is little better than a workable beta in need of huge performance tuning and scalability efforts, so Microsoft wins the C# market by default as they'd always hoped and planned.

I can see how a video game console has anything to do whatsoever with desktop and server operating systems. Honestly. I can see your point. It's called FUD, and it's uselessly off topic.

But you keep drinking the Microsoft kool-aid, while I sip the coffee of open source. We'll both have our thirst for tools and technology satisfied in the end.

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346760)

Eclipse is actually a more functional and better designed IDE than Visual Studio.

LOL! Eclipse is bloated garbage and the code base is a disgusting mess. Intellij IDEA is the only IDE that even comes close to Visual Studio.

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346906)

Ubuntu's desktop insanity was fucking disgusting when I last tried it. OpenOffice can't even split a document. And Eclipse can suck my balls. It's straight-up terrible.

And if you look at the subject of your very own message, you can see it says "Microsoft and open source", not "Microsoft's desktop and server operating systems and open source".

Not agreeing with something doesn't automatically make it FUD...

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346978)

Big problem with Ubuntu is that it randomly decides to change the package it uses to provide a certain feature - which in turn results in functionality losses. These are also not advertised, nor is any warning provided. Though more often than not these are minor, they do sometimes however knock out critical functionality like Bluetooth tethering. That of course also ignores the rather regular tendency for these updates to cause a lot of miscellaneous stability and reliability issues.

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347070)

Gnome 2.0 and KDE 3 depends on your definition of "Acceptable." Definitely not acceptable for me, Gnome 3 is acceptable, if I don't mind grinding my teeth a bit. But I'd rather not do even that.

OpenOffice/etc may be technically acceptable by feature list, but regardless of actual feature count it still sucks. I used it for quite a while before I finally gave in and got MS Office, not for features that OO didn't have, but for plain old usability.

Re:Microsoft and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346788)

>Microsoft has never really locked down their desktop OS either. It has always been open in a way that it lets you run anything you want.

Isn't sad that you even had to say this? Meaning, that the very idea I cannot run any program I wish should be so ludicrous that it would not even be thought of.

We live in sad times.

Re:Microsoft and open source (2)

camcorder (759720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346856)

- Linux still cannot compete on desktop. Much larger competitor to MS is OSX, and even then MS does programs for Mac too.

For me it competes pretty well. I used Linux desktop (Gnome on Fedora) both on my desktop and laptop. After the web era I never need a Windows OS for any reason. I don't say Windows is obsolete, of course it has niche stuff for some people. But it's non-sense to say Linux can't compete on desktop. I have to say that using a Gnome desktop (and I'm sure KDE is on par) is a lot easier than using Windows' interface. That's even true for those got used to Windows way of doing things. Currently Linux desktop is best of both worlds, they get useful concepts from MacOSX or Windows, and it gets mature and mature every day due to open source nature, and beats on stability thanks to Linux. Application support is pretty decent and has all the recent technologies on desktop from 3d acceleration to smart network integration.

Desktop on Linux is improving in a lot faster pace than Windows even Mac, but I don't understand why people keep spreading 'Linux can't compete on desktop' FUD. I got money to pay for Windows, and I actually paid for Windows several times without using it on my computer purchases, (so what market share are we talking about?) and even though I'm not a Free Software purist, I find Linux Desktop much more productive than Windows all the time.

Maybe year of Linux on desktop joke will never get old, but that doesn't change the fact that Linux was on my desktop for years.

Re:Microsoft and open source (1, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346962)

What if Apple doesn't have anything against open source projects?

In fact, they contribute a LOT to open source.

http://opensource.apple.com/ [apple.com]

Re:Microsoft and open source (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347114)

As far as mobiles go, Microsoft already gets lots of money for every Android device sold. Microsoft wins in either case, be it Android or Windows Phone that is selling better.

Who is paying Microsoft for Android aside Microsoft's own existing vendors who do not want to bite the hand that feeds them? And does that amount exceed what they've payed Nokia to put Windows OS on Nokia's phones? I doubt it.

And who else will pay Microsoft for Android now that Barnes & Noble broke the confidentiality agreement and let the cat out of the bag? Did you read Microsot's ridiculous patent claims, and the actual dates they filed their patents on? With all the prior art, their patent won't fare much better than Amazon's one-click patent.

OK Here we go again. (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346424)

I'll bet 10,000$ that someone will say "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish" within the next 100 posts.

Re:OK Here we go again. (1)

Gwala (309968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346466)

I think you already did it.

Re:OK Here we go again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346538)

the next 100 people say nothing about that, and we share the 10,000 bet.

Apple does not disallow open source apps either (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346488)

Not sure where you got your information from, but Apple does not disallow open source apps from the app store at all. The iOS development community in fact is heavily based on numerous open source libraries that everyone uses...

You may have been mistaken from the case of VLC, which was pulled because of a copyright claim made by one of the VLC developers. It was not pulled because it was open source.

So it's nice that Microsoft will offer the same opportunity to open source developers, but hardly unique.

Re:Apple does not disallow open source apps either (4, Informative)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346732)

There are some issues with a very specific open source license and the Apple App store. All apps in the app store have a non-obtrusive DRM in them, this means you can’t hand someone a copy of the free app you downloaded.

Mind you, you are entirely free to give the link to someone for them to download entirely free of charge, just as you did, but a version of the GPL license specifically dictates you can’t block the user's ability to redistribute himself. Even if Apple did have the said DRM, they also don’t allow you to install software from alternate sources, so that also hinders a user's ability to redistribute.

So the question is: will the windows app store give developers a flag they can set to not include a DRM in the specific app? And will they allow (in tablets) to install software from other sources? As it stands now, the Windows Phone 7 store should not be compatible with these specific clauses either (even with the sanctioned jailbreak available.)

Re:Apple does not disallow open source apps either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346874)

NON-OBTRUSIVE DRM?

First of all... I think you mean unobtrusive.

Second... fuck off Apple fag. The DRM for Apple Store apps is blatant and thoroughly evil... both technically (the technical mechanism by which it is implemented) and the approval process that nanny Apple imposes.

Re:Apple does not disallow open source apps either (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346886)

So what you're saying is that GPL is incompatible with the app store, not that the app store is incompatible with open source.

GPL is designed to not work with things like the app store, its funny when it works as intended people blame the other guy for the fact that its a rather restrictive license.

Re:Apple does not disallow open source apps either (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347100)

So what you're saying is that GPL is incompatible with the app store, not that the app store is incompatible with open source.

Thats exactly what I'm saying, yes. :)

GPL is designed to not work with things like the app store, its funny when it works as intended people blame the other guy for the fact that its a rather restrictive license.

I personally am not fond of the GPL. If you want to be all hardcore about software freedom, you dont hold hostage the user about him also being equally hardcore.

Then don't make the broad claim (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346940)

There are some issues with a very specific open source license and the Apple App store.

In practice I have seen no issue. However, as you note there's a potential problem only with a specific license (the GPL) which certainly dismisses the original claim that Apple disallows open source apps from the app store. You'd have to make the claim Apple disallows GPL apps from the app store, but you can't even make that claim since it is not true to date.

All apps in the app store have a non-obtrusive DRM in them, this means you canâ(TM)t hand someone a copy of the free app you downloaded.

Sure you can, you can send them the source. However this is not an Apple issue. This is technical issue related to redistribution. Again Apple is not stopping you from doing anything, it's the terms of the GPL if anything.

a version of the GPL license specifically dictates you canâ(TM)t block the user's ability to redistribute himself.

Once you have the source you can re-distribute to anyone.

Re:Apple does not disallow open source apps either (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346784)

Apple's TOS for the app store and GPL are INCOMPATIBLE. Why don't you educate yourself:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/no-gpl-apps-for-apples-app-store/8046

How funny that I already corrected you (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346828)

Remember how I said that VLC was pulled NOT because it was open source but because a copyright claim was made by one of the VLC developers?

I guess you do not.

The reality is there are, as I said, a ton of apps in the app store that are heavily based on Open Source, some are even open source themselves (like the WordPress app).

EVEN IF the GPL caused a problem for some apps being released, that still leaves a LOT of other open source licenses.

Semantic Argument (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347052)

It's a semantic argument. No, Apple doesn't specifically outlaw open-source programs from its app stores; however, its license agreement is in direct conflict with the GPL (and probably other open-source licenses). That doesn't mean there aren't GPL programs in the app store, but it does mean the people that put them there are violating the GPL.

Apple's terms *are* contrary to the GPL (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347102)

I haven't read Microsoft's new terms, so I can't comment on them, but the iOS app store is incompatible with the terms of the GPL.

The App Store terms and conditions [apple.com] does allow for a third party license agreement (including FLOSS licenses) to be substituted for their default LICENSED APPLICATION END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT. However only that one section of the terms and services is substituted; the rest of it remains in force. The GPL prohibits you from placing any further restrictions than those in the GPL, and the App Store terms and conditions does just that: In particular

USE OF APP AND BOOK PRODUCTS AND THE APP AND BOOK SERVICES
You agree that the App and Book Services and certain App and Book Products include security technology that limits your use of App and Book Products and that, whether or not App and Book Products are limited by security technology, you shall use App and Book Products in compliance with the applicable usage rules established by Apple and its principals (âoeUsage Rulesâ), and that any other use of the App and Book Products may constitute a copyright infringement

CHANGES
Apple reserves the right at any time to modify this Agreement and to impose new or additional terms or conditions on your use of the App and Book Services. Such modifications and additional terms and conditions will be effective immediately and incorporated into this Agreement. Your continued use of the App and Book Services will be deemed acceptance thereof.

Other FLOSS licenses are compatible with the app store, and other GPL developers don't care about the incompatibility, and thus don't press the issue, but the VLC developer was correct in his claim that the GPL was being violated.

FACT: GPL IS NOT ALLOWED !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346496)

Point in fact. Case closed. Nothing to do about it. Obviously this is so. Fool to ever think otherwise.

Re:FACT: GPL IS NOT ALLOWED !! (1)

jockm (233372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346910)

Well if it is a FACT, perhaps you could provide some proof?

Re:FACT: GPL IS NOT ALLOWED !! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346912)

Uhm, no, thats not a fact.

GPL is most certainly allowed, Apple doesn't care. No where do they say 'NO GPL SOFTWARE!'

In fact, I know of several GPL software packages ON THE APP STORE.

On the otherhand, ignorant GPL zealots seem to forget that it was designed to fail in these situations so that users maintained 'freedoms' they couldn't otherwise.

So you got your freedom, you are free to not have apps on an iPhone, or you can change GPL to allow for it, but lets be realistic, you're just going to FUD it up instead and pretend its someone elses fault you can't always get your way.

FUD - again. (-1, Troll)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346504)

Another FUD article. Apple doesn't restrict open source apps from their app store.

For example:

http://maniacdev.com/2010/06/35-open-source-iphone-app-store-apps-updated-with-10-new-apps/ [maniacdev.com]

Re:FUD - again. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346662)

Apple does add additional terms which violate the GPL (and especially v3) - the only people who can publish GPL applications on iPhones are the original copyright owners of the source code.

Not FUD, just lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346798)

The statement that Apple disallowes free/open source in It's stores isn't FUD, It's just a plain lie.

iOS and Mac App Stores are GPL/LGPL incompatible (3, Informative)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346812)

As the iOS and Mac App Stores have restrictive licensing terms and are setup in a way which are incompatible with the GPL and LGPL. And as the GPL and LGPL represent the majority of open source software (about 57% combined). Yes, Apple does indeed restriuct open source apps from their app store.

Re:iOS and Mac App Stores are GPL/LGPL incompatibl (-1, Troll)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346944)

That's some pretty convoluted logic. You've just passed your test. Congratulations, you are now a level 80 slashdot nerd!

Re:iOS and Mac App Stores are GPL/LGPL incompatibl (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346954)

...

Funny, you say they are setup to restrict GPL ... I'm fairly certain you've no idea what you're talking about.

Perhaps you should read the discussions that have taken place while GPL was being created, and especially the ones related to GPLv3.

GPL was designed to not allow for this sort of thing. Why are you ignoring the fact that this outcome was designed intentionally into GPL before Apple even had an app store?

And for the record, there are multiple GPL software packages on the app store put up by the authors themselves. The only people that get fucked are people who use software by douchebags who are anti-apple and refuse to put their apps on the app store ... and thats their choice of course, but its in no way Apples fault that they choose not to do business with Apple.

Wow, direct proof and you cannot see (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347026)

As the iOS and Mac App Stores have restrictive licensing terms and are setup in a way which are incompatible with the GPL and LGPL

Say what terms there are SPECIFICALLY that disallow this.

Yes, Apple does indeed restriuct open source apps from their app store.

You do realize you are responding to a post with a list of open source apps in the app store? And yet still you are willing to post under a real userID to make that broad claim which the very post you are responding to shows to be wrong?

Incredible.

Most likely (0)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346506)

It's a PR stunt - they're at grave risk of another anti-trust lawsuit with the extras they're building directly into Windows 8, so if they can show that they're not really trying to "knife the baby" (their words, not mine) then they're less likely to face the intense scrutiny they got in the last lawsuit. It's hard to be clear if the whole "EFI only boots Windows" scandal was real and Microsoft backed down or if it was simply a misinterpretation, but it's safe to say that stories like that emerging before things become a done deal will give MS' top execs and lawyers a case of the chills. They're not averse to complete pwnership of the computing industry, they're just averse to getting caught.

Re:Most likely (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347008)

It's hard to be clear if the whole "EFI only boots Windows" scandal was real and Microsoft backed down or if it was simply a misinterpretation

Whats hard about it? At no point did anyone say it would be windows only, nor did anyone imply it. Some ignorant people made stupid assumptions. These are the same people who are continually making excuses for why Linux isn't the desktop dominator.

Its also a rather stupid assumption that mobo manufactures would all capitulate and not give an option to boot another OS. Non-Windows OSes are rather common OUTSIDE of the desktop, they aren't going to cut off a massive portion of income to play with Microsoft.

You really have a slanted view on the world if you ever think there was any doubt as to what is going to happen.

I think they realize something more important (3, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346512)

I think Microsoft is acknowledging something more important: that many good products are developed under open source licenses, but sold and maintained under commercial terms, a hybrid of philosophies that allows the programmers to keep eating!

As it turns out the patents Microsoft is pursing have nothing to do with the Linux kernel, GPL'd utilities, or Java implementation, the Microsoft lawsuits are just "business as usual" for the telecommunications industry as it has been for decades. The lawsuits are punishing; they're just the way telcos and their technology companies have dealt with the business landscape for decades. It's not a "nice" way of doing business, but it is "a" way of doing business.

And yet (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346518)

these are the same set of bastards that not only pulled illegal actions on Dr. Dos, Stacker, Novell, Netscape, Linux, but AS SOON as the feds released them from being monitored, they went right back to their old trick with Attacking Android via a number of questionable approaches.

I would have to say that any OSS developer, if not any developer, that works on MS is just plain foolish.

Re:And yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346836)

Is this a case where a fool and his money soon part doesn't apply since OSS developers have a much larger salable user base if they develop with an MS OS as the target OS?

Re:And yet (3, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347000)

While I agree to a degree, I have to point out that my open source applications run on Linux, Mac and Windows because I ACTUALLY care about customer freedoms. Why SHOULDN'T I accept patches to get my code running on windows?

I wouldn't call that foolish. I'd call it: Complete & total disdain of any OS loyalty whatsoever. If every dev worked this way there would never be a situation where you're forced to stop using the software you want/need just because you have issues with the underlying OS.

At the end of the day, there's a Windows user who tripple-boots Linux & Mac too, and he wants to use the FLOSS software I wrote for use with Linux on Windows. I believe it would be foolish to limit my exposure & thus donations. In fact, I think it foolish to ignore significant market segments altogether for trivial reasons. Even more foolish would be to fragment the user base and cause a fork due to my own OS preferences.

I'm not saying I'm going to distribute my applications in the Windows 8 store, but if anyone else wants to, and they can satisfy the AGPLv3 requirements, have at it.

About turn? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346548)

What about turn? When were they ever against open source projects? The fact that they don't release their own software under those terms doesn't mean they've sought to stop others doing so before.

Re:About turn? (2)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346700)

Probably when they called Linux and open source licenses 'cancer' http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/02/ballmer_linux_is_a_cancer [theregister.co.uk]

Re:About turn? (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346744)

Of course the 'about turn' happened a long time ago. CodePlex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CodePlex) is pretty definitive proof that MS Supports Open Source, at least when it coincides with their business goals.

Not GPL (1)

PineHall (206441) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346568)

Microsoft has language in its agreement that excludes GPL [theregister.co.uk] .

Re:Not GPL (4, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346610)

GPL v2 or v3?

Sounds perfectly compatible with V2.

Re:Not GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346810)

From your link,

âoeIf your app includes FOSS, it must not cause any non-FOSS Microsoft software to become subject to the terms of any FOSS license.â Although Microsoft didn't name it, it's talking about GPL.

That's utter bullcrap analysis. GPL doesn't specify what license other software comes with, including libraries it is using. GPL specifies what terms the license derived works must satisfy.

It is perfectly valid to write Win32 apps that are GPL. It is perfectly valid to write GPL code that depends on some closed source API. The purpose of GPL is to allow derived works to retain the freedom of the original, including removal of the dependency on the closed source API dependency..

What Microsoft doesn't wont is some bullshit license that says "if Microsoft distributes this app, then Microsoft agrees to open source its entire codebase" or similar retarded clauses.

Re:Not GPL (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347048)

Applying the GPL to a work that depends on a non-GPL'd work does not make the non-GPL'd work subject to the GPL. The decision to GPL software is exclusively the prerogative of the person who has the copyright on the software. A person cannot choose to make a derived work of GPL'd work non-GPL because as a derived work, it is subject to the constraints that any derived work under perfectly ordinary copyright law would have to follow anyways. and the creator of any derived work must always obtain permission. The GPL simply happens to state, up front, what the prerequisites are for obtaining that permission (release the source code), and if one abides by its policies, then they need no further consent or approval by the copyright holder. There may be other ways of obtaining such permission too, and those are up to each individual copyright holder.

Apple doesn't restrict open source apps (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346690)

Open source licenses themselves restrict distribution in Apple's store. See VLC for iOS. Apple had no problem distributing it on the app store. It was developer infighting about licensing that resulted in VLC themselves making the request to take it down.

Re:Apple doesn't restrict open source apps (2)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346782)

Okay, so it is more accurate to say that Apple doesn't *accomodate* open-source licenses (particularly GPL it would seem.) But Microsoft does. That's still noteworthy.

Re:Apple doesn't restrict open source apps (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346858)

"Okay, so it is more accurate to say that Apple doesn't *accomodate* open-source licenses (particularly GPL it would seem.) But Microsoft does. That's still noteworthy."

Define "accommodate". The only issue it seems is that it's not possible to load a re-linked executable onto a device with a developer account. Besides that, on iOS, Apple does nothing to stop open source distribution. You're free to distribute source, and you can distribute your executable unsigned outside of the app store (leaving the user to sign it.)

If we want to compare apples to apples (pun not intended), the Mac App Store let's you dynamically link against libraries, sidestepping this completely and making app store apps both fully compatible with GPLv2 and open source.

Licensing Violations (1)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346862)

The licensing for these open source was done years ago. Two decades at this point in the case of the GPLv2, the world's most popular software license... well before iOS even existed. Apple designed their licensing for the iOS and Mac App Stores so that they are incompatible with said license. That's their own fault. So, even though a couple VLC devs tried to put it in the store, they didn't get the permission of all the copyright holders to violate the terms of the GPL and do so. Thus, those devs and Apple themselves violated the GPL.

Visual Studio Licenses Ponderings (2)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346728)

Kind of makes me wonder about a few things concerning the App Store and Visual Studio licensing.

Since the app store will be able to kill apps [slashdot.org] , will they use stricter controls on ownership of their compiler, or will they lower the price and open it up in hopes of pulling open source devs away from the Linux world and also increasing the number of available apps?

Will someone with a student license be able to freely disseminate compiled programs?

Would they be far sighted enough to allow a low price version of the IDE/compiler that isn't allowed to be used for generation of programs for sale, but is for free apps on the app store? (Given that they can kill apps, they could easily ensure that for-pay apps are compiled with a properly licensed version of the compiler; I'm sure they could embed that or have some validation process as part of their licensed developer program or whatever...)

Re:Visual Studio Licenses Ponderings (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346764)

Tough to get cheaper then free. [microsoft.com]

Re:Visual Studio Licenses Ponderings (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346866)

Not complete (e.g., no ATL, MFC, some other core stuff). And binaries are not redistributable for pay:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hs24szh9.aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:Visual Studio Licenses Ponderings (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347014)

Where in that link does it say the binaries cannot be sold?

Why a store? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38346780)

Ok, I'm naive and over 19. Can someone explain what these stores do and their purpose? There's one in Macs now but it seems pointless. We've already had online stores for applications. Maybe it's because these are "apps" and not full applications, a place to sell demos? Maybe this is the updated version of DOS shareware community (awful programs promoted as shareware because people thought they could get rich). I visited the Mac store and can't figure out the appeal, mostly mini games of the sort you'd see on facebook or g+ for free. So why would MS want to replicate this idea?

You are not the customer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346830)

With the app store model, you are not the customer.
You are not even the product. You're just a dumb bitch who's going to bend over and take it up the ass for $0.99 at a time.

Re:Why a store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346902)

Central repository for applications, instead of hunting out stuff through each product's website. It also allows common feedback rating in the same place. Very useful.

Apple are merely copying what linux distros have been doing since the 90s. Lindows did the same but for pay apps, pretty much what Apple based their store on over a decade later.

Gamers have had the same thing via Steam for rather a long time too.

Re:Why a store? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346926)

The app store paradigm is to shift respponsibility. In the classic desktop model of software, the user had to decide who to trust. In the pre-internet days this was a task with the same difficulty as deciding if that guy selling prozak out of his truck was trustworthy. With the increased speed of downloading over time, now the user has to determine what freeware, shareware, adware, and payware online is trustworthy and which are not.

In comes the app store model, all software present in the company approved store has to pass some version of testing designed to catch destructive behavior (intentional or unintentional) and only after a testing period is something allowed to go on the store.

Re:Why a store? (2)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38347092)

If you are a Linux person think of the store like a commercial+ software repository, where you can buy and then download/install via the internet, and if it is a perfect world you will be pushed timely updates on what you bought, so things don't break due to incompatibility. This does include full blown commercial programs, and all the restrictions that come with them (if not more as it is internet delivered/maintained.)

Some of the most obvious benefits:

a) can offer some cool software right at the get go (FOSS is a good bait, by slapping their corporate branding around the store -even if they do credit the creators- and people will start to assume that the company is responsible for those.)
b) reduce cost in packaging/distributing said software - of course that also means less manuals, and physical media for backup purposes.
c) get a piece of the commercial software pie from the publishers, through commissions, advertising, etc.
d) control the market to make their system shine by influencing who gets seen on the first page, etc.
e) Also with the draw to be the place to get software they can push their new products, and favor their stuff over the competition.
f) have an inside track on innovative and trending technologies of 3rd party products that are doing well at your store.
g) restrict unwanted access via through DRM or marketplace guidelines

Interesting read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38346936)

The article does cover some of what Microsoft's strategy is, and I think goes a ways to explain it to average people.

For the developers of Open Source software, I don't think it matters very much. You have the Window's Freeware writing crowd which will probably buy in to it, but the rest of us know better.

To me, no matter what Microsoft does not it's going to be a toxin later on. That's their plan, that's how they do business. I personally boycott every product they sell and ask for friends, family, and co-workers to do the same. I have talked numerous prospective Xbox purchasers in to getting a PS3 instead (which they are always happy with the decision) and numerous Windows Phone prospects in to Android or IOS phones.

That is the power of our Capitalist society, and I wish more people were like me!

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