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Microsoft Releases Windows CE 3.0 Source

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the chase-the-carrot-while-I-swing-the-stick dept.

Microsoft 223

marquise2000 writes: "You can now check out what Microsoft's 'Shared Source' idea is worth. They released the source to the Windows CE 3.0 Core OS yesterday night, see this page. You need a Microsoft Passport to get behind the registration. A hotmail account will do (no matter how much spam you have in your inbox)."

If you haven't yet taken a look at Microsoft's "Shared Source License," this is a good time: contrast the restrictions on use and redistribution to the clauses on those things in the GPL.

Interesting that Microsoft should denigrate Free Software licenses as pathogenic but require that anyone who redistributes the software as source under their new "broader" license "include a complete copy of this License with your distribution." That license includes a provision that "if you sue anyone over patents that you think may apply to the Software for a person's use of the Software, your license to the Software ends automatically."

But since you may not distribute the licensed Microsoft code "in source or object form for commercial purposes under any circumstances," nor use it to run a business, it may be unlikely that such a suit would arise. All in all, I'm not sure who besides companies selling Win CE hardware or software will benefit from this "sharing."

However, if you ever intend to work on any Open Source programming project which might involve similar code, you might want to think twice about downloading any code under the provisions Microsoft lists here: a simple database query can establish whether "Yourname Lastname" had access to the Microsoft-owned code, which could result in legal problems down the road. Even if you never look at the downloaded code, the electronic trail will look like you did -- which is perhaps the most insidious aspect of this version of sharing.

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Re:Insert bad pun here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#70074)

I'd look, but it may make me wince

Re:Passport (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#70075)

Moderator gave this a funny? What is funny about it? I'll tell you what's funny, getting moderators to waste their points on bad posts.

Re:Insidious indeed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#70076)

Well what if you don't reveal your real name? I have never given my real name to Microsoft before, big deal if they query a different name.

Re:Direct Download (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#70077)

Because the coders suck.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy not entirely different from our own, there was a popular (amongst geeks) web-forum. Certain posters to said forum discovered that posting long, unbroken, strings could fuck up the page formatting - the whole page is in one table, so making one cell very wide makes all cells wide, adding nasty horizontal scroll bars and pissing everyone off.

The correct solution would have been to place each comment inside its own table. Instead, the Slashcode morons decided to enforce spaces - thereby preventing trolling idiots from fucking up the page and also preventing genuine posters from posting genuine links that genuine readers could find genuinely useful.

Nothing like a half-assed 'solution', eh?
But hey, it's Open Source, fix it yourself.

Direct Download (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#70079)

Bypass Passport: http://download.microsoft.com/download/WinCEPlatfo rmBuilder/Update/3.0/NT5/EN-US/setup.exe

Compare Microsoft with FSF. (2)

Karpe (1147) | more than 13 years ago | (#70083)

Can I use GPLd code in a commercial product?

"Definitely, if you make the your source available also."

Can I use Microsoft Shared source in a commercial product?

"No way, how do you dare asking?"

Hmm.. It's funny to see the FSF as business friendlier than Microsoft, even if everyone will say that "free software is no good for business". Well, it is not made to be good for business, but good for the community. That doesn't mean it can be good for business (as the "opensource"guys like to say).

Re:Compare Microsoft with FSF. (2)

Karpe (1147) | more than 13 years ago | (#70084)

"Yes, definitely! Sign here, give us the money, and off you go!"

That's not an option for most of the smaller companies. :)

This is a good thing (with some Caveats) (4)

scenic (4226) | more than 13 years ago | (#70089)

I've always been in favor of something like what Microsoft is branding "Shared Source" for commercial software endeavours. I mean, it makes the most sense in the long run. Companies should be required to release their code for products in order to get any sort of government backed IP protection (copyright and patent but not license based). It makes the most sense from a consumer rights, security, and general innovation perspective. You can see an outline of a paper I started working on at Pseudothought.com [pseudothought.com] regarding this very issue.

There are caveats, of course. The licensing restrictions that apply to shared source are wrong in most cases. As long as I don't turn around and redistribute the software, why should they care if I modify the source and use it in my business or personal use? As long as sufficient licenses are purchased (another controversial issue that I have some thoughts about), they shouldn't care.

The second big caveat is that there needs to be a proper and well known legislative infrastructure in place to support the readers of the source code. Possibly, the same standards that apply to books should apply to source code. In other words, a few sentences that are entirely the same might be ok, but taking entire thoughts (subroutines or algorithsm in source code?) is wrong. Right now, the ambiguity of when Microsoft can sue is a bit chilling. It would be beneficial, IMHO, to have some legislation to make fair use type protections explicit.

Sujal

Re:Compare Microsoft with FSF. (4)

el_nino (4271) | more than 13 years ago | (#70090)

Can I use Microsoft Shared source in a commercial product?

"No way, how do you dare asking?"

"Yes, definitely! Sign here, give us the money, and off you go!", rather. And you won't have to redistribute the source to your changes, either. I'm pretty sure all CE manufacturers have had access to the source, and I know that SGI had a deal to sell a modified version of NT with the Visual Workstations.
--
Niklas Nordebo | niklas at nordebo.com

Re:No big deal? (1)

madprof (4723) | more than 13 years ago | (#70091)

In all honesty did you expect Microsoft to ever do anyone favours? :-)
Favours do not a big profit make!

Re:Don't look directly at their code (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#70093)

So just carry around a "oR.

Yeah, but to WinCE. Like, who cares? (2)

crovira (10242) | more than 13 years ago | (#70097)

M$ is not losing any sleep over releasing the source code. Go forbid that somebody look at it and tell them where the security divots are.

And its WinCE. Their answer to the Palm OS (ROTFL). Its not exactly the crown fuckin' jewels.

But it is indicative of their ability to talk out of both sides of their mouths at once while lying out of either about what the other side is saying: Source code is Talibanese, uh, anti-American. Here want our WinCE source code?

Lets hope they never get off the x86.

So has anyone.... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 13 years ago | (#70099)

Looked at the source with intentions to perfect the
CyaCE Linux boot program?

If you dont use their code but study it for how it acts... you should be safe right?

Re:Whoa... (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 13 years ago | (#70100)

I think looking at the source would be a great way to deep-six any open source projects you're working on at the time. Heck, even if you're a commercial developer, you should really have your legal team consider your position before looking at this code

Yes. Just as Microsoft employees are admonished not to look at GPL'ed code, open source coders now must be made aware that they should not look at "shared" code.

I think MS is going for a "GPL" licence that gives more rights to MS as opposed to the community. But this is to be expected.

Wow. (5)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 13 years ago | (#70101)

Looks like Microsoft is up and fighting - and fighting hard.

From the licence it looks like this code is free (as in beer, not speech).

The Licence:

This License governs use of the accompanying Software.

You can use this Software for any non-commercial purpose, including distributing derivatives. Running your business operations would not be considered non-commercial.

For commercial purposes, you can reference this software solely to assist in developing and testing your own software and hardware for the Windows CE platform. You may not distribute this software in source or object form for commercial purposes under any circumstances.


In return, we simply require that you agree:

1) Not to remove any copyright notices from the Software.

* Ok, thats fair.

2) That if you distribute the Software in source code form you do so only under this License (i.e. you must include a complete copy of this License with your distribution), and if you distribute the Software solely in object form you only do so under any license that complies with this License.

* This is fair too.

3)That the Software comes "as is", with no warranties. None whatsoever. This means no implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or any warranty of non-infringement. Also, you must pass this disclaimer on whenever you distribute the Software.

* Standard Leaglease. This is in the GPL too.

4) That Microsoft will not be liable for any of those types of damages known as indirect, special, consequential, or incidental related to the Software or this License, to the maximum extent the law permits. Also, you must pass this limitation of liability on whenever you distribute the Software.

* Same as above.

5) That if you sue anyone over patents that you think may apply to the Software for a person's use of the Software, your license to the Software ends automatically.

* Hmmm, this is different.

6) That the patent rights Microsoft is licensing only apply to the Software, not to any derivatives you make.

* I don't understand this one, someone care to explain? (I think that they mean that if I make a derivitave, it is not owned by Microsoft? Or, does it mean not protected by Microsoft?)

7) That your rights under the License end automatically if you breach it in any way.

* Very different from the GPL! That your rights "Suddenly end" if you breach it in any way. GPL is designed to maintain rights, this one is designed to take them away.

Granted, you can't blame Microsoft for using this kind of licence. Their whole business model is based on this kind of thing. I still bet that there are people at MS that are having fits over the release of code. But, I guess the battle for free software must be ganing ground - because Microsoft is fighting back... On our turf.

Re:Whoa... (2)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#70103)

I think looking at the source would be a great way to deep-six any open source projects you're working on at the time. Heck, even if you're a commercial developer, you should really have your legal team consider your position before looking at this code - the last thing you want to have to do is prove that you didn't use any of Microsoft's code in your commercial product. Remember, you don't have to be in the wrong to be dragged through a lengthy court battle and/or an expensive settlement.

I can see the WinCE source code being very useful for developers that work on that platform and already have a close working relationship with Microsoft, but it seems to provide more risk than benefit to everyone else.

Re:Wow. (3)

kinkie (15482) | more than 13 years ago | (#70109)

>6) That the patent rights Microsoft is licensing >only apply to the Software, not to any derivatives you make.

> * I don't understand this one, someone care
> to explain? (I think that they mean that if
> I make a derivitave, it is not owned by
> Microsoft? Or, does it mean not protected by Microsoft?)

It's a fair clause actually.
Microsoft MIGHT have licensed patents and included code implementing them in the distribution. Of course they have paid the patent owners to do so. But if you distribute derivative works, you don't own those rights so you have to acquire them yourself.

Let's put this in practice: suppose that there is some code somewhere in WinCE3.0 that generates GIF images. Microsoft has paid Unisys in order to do so. If you redistribute that code, you have to contact Unisys and license the patent yourself, because Microsoft's license does not get transferred to you.
Not that software patents make any sense, mind you.

Re:Wow. (1)

Noehre (16438) | more than 13 years ago | (#70110)

He meant the MS part about commercial use, dolt.

Re:Wow. (1)

listen (20464) | more than 13 years ago | (#70116)

I think the "arguably" is what set him off.
It made you sound like you thought you had a point, he missed that you then admitted that you didn't. Other trigger phrases to watch out for:

Frankly
Ladies and gentlemen
Come, on folks,
Honestly
**** is nice and all, but

these phrases are often used in the hope that whatever comes next sounds more authoratative. Don't fall for them.

Re:Wow. (1)

Rombuu (22914) | more than 13 years ago | (#70117)

7) That your rights under the License end automatically if you breach it in any way.

* Very different from the GPL! That your rights "Suddenly end" if you breach it in any way. GPL is designed to maintain rights, this one is designed to take them away.


My understanding of contract law is that you forfeit your rights under the contract if you are found in breach of it. This is true for the GPL, BSD, MPL, etc... they just don't state it explicitly. Maybe MS pays their lawyers by the KLOL (1000 lines of leagalese) or something.

Re:Insidious indeed (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#70119)

If Bill were my big brother, I'd have to beat his scrawny little ass.

Re:problems (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#70120)

The standard reply is "security through obscurity doesn't work". And in many cases, that does apply. However, this won't happen in the M$ case. Sure, they are no longer hiding their source (as much) but they have totally screwed up the feedback cycle.

First, they would need someone to dl the code and look at it. Some will, but due to the licensing weirdness, it won't be many.

Second, patches would have to be submitted, integrated, and then disseminated. The first might happen. The second will happen if the patches are good. But since WinCE lies in ROM, it's going to be hard (impossible?) to get this onto devices.

This is likely a pointless act, and the poster who mentioned it was used to demonstrate to the Supremes (I believe M$ is beginning to get around to filing an appeal with them) that they have changed. But, for various reasons, it is all BS.

Who is the cancer now? (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#70121)

Okay, so using GPL code is cancerous and causes plagues, locusts, etc. But simply viewing M$ code is a danger.

Has that meeting with Mundie happened yet?

Is it possible to keep up with and inform the public of all of this BS that comes out of the M$ propaganda machine?

Re:Isn't CE going to die? (1)

Uart (29577) | more than 13 years ago | (#70122)

Using the same kernel everywhere is so much more fair, now you can crash on every platform equally!

I think I see their method (1)

WyldOne (29955) | more than 13 years ago | (#70123)

W3K supports something called a 'Dynamic disk' in short it bypasses the 'standard' way of disk partioning in favor of the MS way. Currently there is no support for it right now (link to articles) [loyalty.org]

My conpiracy theory: MS will keep changing this MS-Partioning every so often, thus forcing us (the linux community) to spend time/effort in black box re-engineering. At some point we will hit a DCMA wall with the 'encrypeted data' partiions/folders/files. I just took a class on W2K (not my choice) and this new MS-P has incentives to switch by making some new 'features' only valid with dynamic disks using NTFS (deliberatly disabled my MS?). AFAIK linux still only has read ability for NTFS. Other 'features' of MS-P are raid (0,1,5), plus spanning (take various chunks from same or different drive, and make a drive out of them) 'letterless (C:,D:)' partition mounting (like unix)

All of this added to the fact that you can encrypt and compress a individual drive/folder/file. The encryption would be a problem just for the fact that MS seems to be behind DCMA enforcement. The method involves public/private w/key retrival from 3rd party (aka back door) BTW: Anyone remember MS vs. Stacker?

BTW: partition type 42 was for linux swap/DR-DOS partitions (according to the link) coincidence huh? This smacks of WinBIOS type of attack

Sorry but was my time too rant and rave

Jeeze this is tricky (1)

WyldOne (29955) | more than 13 years ago | (#70124)

5) That if you sue anyone over patents that you think may apply to the Software for a person's use of the Software, your license to the Software end automatically.

* Hmmm, this is different.

Sounds like they *KNOW* there are copyright violations. Then in court they could counter-sue any plaintiff (did you or did you not see the code?)

Where is Hercules? (1)

WyldOne (29955) | more than 13 years ago | (#70125)

"Where have all the good men gone..."

Re:Isn't CE going to die? (3)

macpeep (36699) | more than 13 years ago | (#70130)

That's the silliest thing I've heard in a long time. Windows CE dead?!

Microsoft is working on Win CE 4.0 (Talisker) and Pocket PC 4.0 (Merlin), which is based on Win CE 4.0, and will most likely have those released and on new shipping devices by September. Just about every new handheld, and cellphone-PDA-combo device is based on Pocket PC and the trend is just more and more in Win CE's favor as we move forward. There's only ONE device released on EPOC 6.x so far - the Nokia 9210 - and it sucks compared to the Siemens GSM-phone & PDA combo device. And don't even mention Palm OS... Psion is out of the handheld market so if an OS is on its way out, it's EPOC.. and.. well.. Palm OS.

Windows CE is more alive than ever!

Re:Wow. (2)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 13 years ago | (#70133)

How can you say "aside from this one particularly offensive part" it's less restrictive then the GPL? That's like saying "aside from killing and eating a few people" Jeffrey Dahmer is a nice guy.

I thought it was already dead. (2)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 13 years ago | (#70134)

Whatever happened to NT embedded?

Re:Wow. (2)

prizog (42097) | more than 13 years ago | (#70138)

Chester K. Illiterate wrote: In fact, it's simpler, more concise, and more direct than the GPL, and arguably doesn't restrict you any more than the GPL does (aside from "commercial use" of the code)

The GPL does not forbid commercial use or distribution of software. This does. Please learn to read.

Can anyone shed light on this one? (1)

Blue Neon Head (45388) | more than 13 years ago | (#70141)

"That if you sue anyone over patents that you think may apply to the Software for a person's use of the Software, your license to the Software ends automatically."



What, exactly, are they up to here?

Where? (1)

Shadowcaster (58728) | more than 13 years ago | (#70143)

Which of their 'codebases' did they branch CE from again?

Quick, someone download the source and grep it for the version numbers.. see if we can find out it's really derived from Windows/386.. ;)

Re:Isn't CE going to die? (2)

norton_I (64015) | more than 13 years ago | (#70147)

My understanding was (I haven't heard about it in a while) that WinCE was going to continue to be targeted for palmtop systems with a windows-like interface, while NT Embedded (the kernel to be used by the X-box) would be targeted at more traditional embedded systems. But I haven't heard anything more about that in months.

Why? (2)

quartz (64169) | more than 13 years ago | (#70148)

No really. I'm not trying to troll or anything, but why would anyone want to look at Microsoft source code? You can't do much with it according to the license terms, and I suppose the API is already documented.

I know *I* wouldn't be caught dead looking at their source because I don't use anything Microsoft so it would be of no use to me, but I'd really like to hear from someone who looks forward to grabbing it and putting their name in the "sharers" database. What are your benefits from looking at Microsoft source code?

Re:No big deal? (1)

Kalani (66189) | more than 13 years ago | (#70149)

In all honesty did you expect Microsoft to ever do anyone favours? :-)

They've released source code and documentation for almost every area of their (huge) Operating System. They've certainly got some of the best documentation I've ever seen. Really, if you're a developer, Microsoft not only does favors for you but they treat you like royalty.

I'm sure you're only kidding ... and I'm not trying to say that MS is some kind of benevolent entity (or even that "MS" is a real entity at all.) They've done all sorts of awful things, but being deliberately obscure with developers hasn't been one of those things (though you could probably make a case for the OLE documentation -- but I've actually implemented OLE control containers, scriptable objects, controls, in-place document containers, ...)

Favors do make big profits.

____________________

Re:Lawyer question... (3)

iamsure (66666) | more than 13 years ago | (#70156)

No, its very real.

In programming there is the principle of "avoided failure".

You implicitly learn (get) all of the research the previous programmer did to get to that point. All the different failures he went through you can avoid, because you know what he ended up using.

By doing so, you "take" all of his work as yours. All his testing, all his troubleshooting, JUST by lookign at the code and knowing what he used.

Makes a little sense.

Re:Compare Microsoft with FSF. (1)

darthaya (66687) | more than 13 years ago | (#70157)

As if giving out source code for free is.
Face it, your OSS moron, small companies suffer the most when it comes to OSS.

But wait... (2)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 13 years ago | (#70161)

Even if you never look at the downloaded code, the electronic trail will look like you did -- which is perhaps the most insidious aspect of this version of sharing.

So everything Microsoft does gets demonized as evil, simply because you have to deal with "THE EVIL EMPIRE" to take advantage of it? Let's not forget that the GPL has more or less the same provisions. If you use GPL code in closed source, or certain open source projects, you can get sued. If you use MS code in closed or open source, you can get sued. In fact, GNU has proved quite litigious in the past. What makes them so much more righteous than MS? Simply because you don't like MS?

What does Microsoft stand to gain by suing anyone and everyone who it thinks may have violated its license? Not a whole lot. And don't whine about trying to eliminate competition... as an ultra-capitalist proponent of the free market I don't buy that argument for one second. But regardless of that, the bad publicity they would receive (since people already perceive them as evil and manipulative) would likely make such a lawsuit much more harmful than beneficial.

Why does everyone have this perception of everyone at Microsoft as a Snidely Whiplash type character, who sits around in boardrooms with other evil villains twirling his mustache and dreaming up ways to destroy everyone else and rule the world?

Re:viral and insidious (1)

geekster (87252) | more than 13 years ago | (#70164)

I've actually been thinking about this.
Is there a difference between copy-pasting GPL'ed code (which of couse requires you to release your modfied code under the GPL)
and simply viewing some GPL'ed code to get the general idea of how something is done and then writing you own stuff?
Yeah it sounds lame, but you're not technically using any of the GPL'ed code in your program are you?

Is This how Microsoft Will Kill Linux? (3)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#70165)

If any of the kernel hackers so much as look at the source code to WinCE, it could open some serious legal ickyness for all involved, whether or not any of that code actually finds its way into the Linux kernel. I suspect we'll see some Microsoft license-related legal action against kernel hackers or Linux companies in the near future.

My suggestion is that if you do any open source programming at all or work for any Linux companies, you stay the hell away from any of Microsoft's shared source.

Not Safe (3)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#70166)

From the way I understand it, so much as looking at the code opens you to liabilities in the future if you write anything either remotely similar. IBM has some very strict rules about who can download GCC within the company, for example. If you work on IBM C Compilers, you're not allowed to.

In the historical past, it's been a fairly common practise to have an isolated group study something and document how it works. Another group would come along and implement using only the produced documentation. The best known example of this is the PC BIOS. I wouldn't even consider that without talking to a lawyer (or three) first.

Re:Compare Microsoft with FSF. (1)

mr (88570) | more than 13 years ago | (#70167)

"Yes, definitely! Sign here, give us the money, and off you go!"

That's not an option for most of the smaller companies. :)

And you know how much M$ charges because you have asked? The picing on CE can be VERY good. Microsoft paid AT&T 5 billion (or was it 6??) to use WinCE on a set-top box.

I wish Microsoft would pay me to use thier code, don't you?

Re:Isn't CE going to die? (2)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 13 years ago | (#70176)

Thats exactly why they choose to release the source -- its worthless. But they can still claim to support open source somewhat (well, their own twisted definition of open source).

This is just manuevering for the anti-trust trial ... "Look judge we're being good!"

Legal troubles? (1)

S5o (102998) | more than 13 years ago | (#70177)

"...However, if you ever intend to work on any Open Source programming project which might involve similar code, you might want to think twice about downloading any code under the provisions Microsoft lists here..."

Whoa, and I was under the impression that people could audit your /open source code/ to disprove any MS "theft".

Re:Insert bad pun here. (1)

AsbestosRush (111196) | more than 13 years ago | (#70181)

Eh, it made me WinCE anyway....

Re:No big deal? (1)

fliplap (113705) | more than 13 years ago | (#70182)

And...MSDN costs HOW MUCH?! MSDN costs more per year than any of Microsoft's operating systems. So you've got the source, you aren't exactly free todo what you want with it, you can't legally modify it and give your friend a copy to try out.

No big deal? (5)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 13 years ago | (#70194)

I have had the source of WinCE for a LONG time.

If your on the MSDN network you can get the source from the CD's. Im sorry this is a bad example since the source has always been available. .. They arent doing anyone any favors here...

Jeremy

Not all that different (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#70196)

"That if you sue anyone over patents that you think may apply to the Software for a person's use of the Software, your license to the Software ends automatically." Hmmm, this is different.

No it isn't. Section 7 of the GNU GPL [gnu.org] provides that "For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program."

"That your rights under the License end automatically if you breach it in any way." Very different from the GPL!

Wrong again. GPL section 4: "You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License."

The biggest differences I see are lack of copyleft and prohibition against use for commercial purposes. Would "downloading the source and compiling it so that you earn back the money that you would otherwise have spent on licensing Microsoft binaries (hereinafter 'Profit')" be considered a commercial purpose because Microsoft couldn't sell an academic license?

Compaq, IBM BIOS, and reverse engineering (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#70197)

simply viewing some GPL'ed code to get the general idea of how something is done and then writing you own stuff?

The GNU General Public License's definition of "derivative work" is the same as that of United States copyright law, and that definition is not crystal clear. Read about how computer BIOS programs were reverse-engineered and cloned [google.com] to see the lengths that companies such as Compaq have to go through to make sure that they don't "accidentally" create a derivative work. You're going to have to translate the source code into English and "summarize" it down to an API, and somebody with whom you have never met face-to-face (and thus has never had a chance to see the actual code) will have to actually implement the API. This works because United States copyright law recognizes the possibility of independently arriving at the same copyrighted work. Copyrights are not patents.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing you read on Slashdot is legal advice; only your attorney can provide that.

right (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 13 years ago | (#70200)

its all a huge conspiracy. like they really care who looks at it and from what ip. they could just as easily get your ip and the exact date and call your isp and get the info. so whats the big deal?

Re:Isn't CE going to die? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 13 years ago | (#70202)

I haven't heard anything like that. Does the XP kernel run on MIPS, ARM, SH, and PowerPC? Is XP Embedded ROMable?

Don't look directly at their code (5)

Radical Rad (138892) | more than 13 years ago | (#70203)

Let me guess. Wince3.0 is code named "Medusa".

Re:Wow. (1)

Chester K (145560) | more than 13 years ago | (#70205)

prizog, the pot that calls the kettle black wrote: The GPL does not forbid commercial use or distribution of software. This does. Please learn to read.

Please go back again and read my post, specifically the part you quoted. I'll quote the relevant section here again, with bold to point you to the parenthetical you obviously missed before turning on your flamethrower:

In fact, it's simpler, more concise, and more direct than the GPL, and arguably doesn't restrict you any more than the GPL does (aside from "commercial use" of the code)

Perhaps in the future you'll be less trigger happy to declare other people illiterate while blatantly displaying an inability to read yourself.

Re:Whoa... (2)

Chester K (145560) | more than 13 years ago | (#70206)

I think looking at the source would be a great way to deep-six any open source projects you're working on at the time.

No, it's not.

Please read the Shared Source license (a link to it was generously provided in the article) before spouting off any FUD about it.

Re:Wow. (4)

Chester K (145560) | more than 13 years ago | (#70208)

6) That the patent rights Microsoft is licensing only apply to the Software, not to any derivatives you make.

* I don't understand this one, someone care to explain? (I think that they mean that if I make a derivitave, it is not owned by Microsoft? Or, does it mean not protected by Microsoft?)


Basically what it means is that if Microsoft had to license any 3rd party patents in order to produce the software, their license to the patents does not cover any derivative versions of the software you make and distribute, meaning if you wanted to be on the up and up, you'd have to license those patents yourself.
It sounds insidious, but it's more likely than not just in the license to cover their butts, if a derivative that uses someone else's patent becomes popular, the patent-holder can't come after Microsoft for subletting access to their patent.

All in all, their Shared Source license isn't as horrible as some Slashbots would like you to believe. In fact, it's simpler, more concise, and more direct than the GPL, and arguably doesn't restrict you any more than the GPL does (aside from "commercial use" of the code)

Re:Isn't CE going to die? (5)

Chester K (145560) | more than 13 years ago | (#70209)

With M$'s focus on the 2k/XP kernel, is this just a red herring to attract good press?

Perhaps, but this is a big step for Microsoft, to release the source code to what at one time in the recent future was intended to be a flagship product of theirs, and is still in moderate to heavy use. You didn't seriously expect them to start out by opening the Windows XP codebase, did you? (And how come nobody has a similar accusation for id Software when they released the source to Wolf 3d or Quake?)

Armed with only my Hotmail login, I now have their source code on my hard drive. In other news, Hell has frozen over, pigs are flying, and the cows have come home. Film at 11.

I knew it. (5)

Chester K (145560) | more than 13 years ago | (#70210)

[ck@server1 ck]$ cd wince300
[ck@server1 ck]$ grep -r fuck *
private/winceos/coreos/nk/schedule.c: // fuck Linus Torvalds!


Those sneaky bastards!

Lawyer question... (2)

e_n_d_o (150968) | more than 13 years ago | (#70211)

What is the fallout of loooking at the source code for a product and then writing your own from scratch. First of all, what does it take to actually establish guilt if the company that allowed you to see the source thought you had done wrong with it?

Is the possibility of being sued after having looked at someone else's code real, or is this just /. paranoia? If this were true, whats to stop Linus from suing Microsoft when he sees microsoft.com in kernel.org's transfer logs?
--

Re:Wow. (1)

krappie (172561) | more than 13 years ago | (#70215)

2) That if you distribute the Software in source code form you do so only under this License (i.e. you must include a complete copy of this License with your distribution), and if you distribute the Software solely in object form you only do so under any license that complies with this License.

Oh shit. You guess it. It's viral.

I for one think this is unamerican. This pacman-like license is a cancer that is clearly out to undermine people's intellectual property. We need to have several press conferences about this. We must warn the people!

Sound a little familiar?

Whoa... (1)

Maddog_Delphi97 (173780) | more than 13 years ago | (#70216)

This is interesting news, indeed... has anyone looked at the source yet?

CE is pointless... (1)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 13 years ago | (#70220)

For them to release CE's source code and to say they are sharing is much like giving away useless junk! No one wants it; no one uses it; so may as well see if some sucker will take it!

Besides, the PR monkeys think that it's a good idea...

read the fine print then read it again to be sure. (1)

bluelarva (185170) | more than 13 years ago | (#70221)

I think it's best to read the fine print on the license agreement before looking at the code. Who knows what you are signing off by getting the code. You may be giving up your "clean" programmer status. Who knows... if you lay your eyes on Windows code and then work on a Linux related code, Microsoft may come after you for your work. Personally I'm not going to go near that thing because of this reason.

Re:But wait... (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 13 years ago | (#70222)

Maybe they're jealous?

Re:War against Palm (1)

Some Dumbass... (192298) | more than 13 years ago | (#70224)

Exactly! They'd never release the source code for an OS which has 90% of its market, but an OS which is clearly non-dominant in its market, no problem. Perhaps they saw how so many companies were using starting to use Linux in embedded devices, exactly because they had access to the source and could customize the hell out of it, and decided to try something similar in a market where they had little to lose?

Isn't CE going to die? (4)

SpookyFish (195418) | more than 13 years ago | (#70226)


With M$'s focus on the 2k/XP kernel, is this just a red herring to attract good press? Isn't CE going to be replaced by XP Embedded or whatever they decide to call it, so they have a common kernel across all their platforms?

And just like medusa... (5)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 13 years ago | (#70233)

The only safe way to view it is in an mirror:)

Bryguy

Passport (5)

InsaneCreator (209742) | more than 13 years ago | (#70234)

Note: Before downloading (5.03 MB executable file), you will need to register using your Microsoft Passport. Passport is a suite of personal authentication services that makes it easier for you to use the Web.

Sice when do "easier to use" and "a pain in the ass" have the same meaning??

War against Palm (3)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#70236)

Microsoft just wants the hardware builders to build hardware and diddle with the code as needed to make the devices work better. They need to get the market from Palm any way possible. That is why any modified software for commercial use will require paying a Microsoft tax even if you re-wrote most of it yourself. It's to show the hardware developers, this is a neat modifiable OS that we can use in our new killer PDA. It's Marketshare and nothing more.

Insert bad pun here. (1)

68030 (215387) | more than 13 years ago | (#70237)

Heh, we we'll finally get to CE the source?

Automatic patent violation? (1)

NNKK (218503) | more than 13 years ago | (#70238)

#6 says
"That the patent rights Microsoft is licensing only apply to the Software, not to any derivatives you make. "

Isn't this sort of mutualy exclusive to:
"You can use this Software for any non-commercial purpose, including distributing derivatives. Running your business operations would not be considered non-commercial."

Which appears at the beginning of the license? Someone correct me if I'm wrong here please...

Re:Yeah, but to WinCE. Like, who cares? (1)

NNKK (218503) | more than 13 years ago | (#70239)

They already have, NT had an Alpha port
I don't think 2k does though

This reminds me of... (1)

Hobobo (231526) | more than 13 years ago | (#70241)

Well, this reminds me of Hitler's 1936 Olympics; put on a nice show for the public to hide the autrocities of Windows XP and .NET

Spam Count Anyone? (1)

los furtive (232491) | more than 13 years ago | (#70242)

I was camping in upstate New York and the Kingston area for 7 days...how much spam did I get in my Hotmail account? 158 pieces!

For those who care (and are still reading), I only use the account for shuttling pieces of info in case of emergency.

Mod This one up! Funny! (1)

los furtive (232491) | more than 13 years ago | (#70243)

I'd love to see an image to go with that....Bill Gates meets the Borg meets Clash of the Titans era Medusa.

Re:Yes, This Is Indeed A Disturbing Universe... (1)

Juan Epstein (238683) | more than 13 years ago | (#70244)

You get beat up a lot, don't you?

oops (1)

very (241808) | more than 13 years ago | (#70246)

oops, I lost my sarcasm tags!

What about DreamCast? (1)

very (241808) | more than 13 years ago | (#70247)

Is it the Open Source for DreamCast version?

Why? (2)

very (241808) | more than 13 years ago | (#70248)

Sure, it will make a huge impact. Windows CE is so widely used that the source would make a different.

Re:Wow. (1)

sporktoast (246027) | more than 13 years ago | (#70250)


6) That the patent rights Microsoft is licensing only apply to the Software, not to any derivatives you make.

* I don't understand this one, someone care to explain? (I think that they mean that if I make a derivitave, it is not owned by Microsoft? Or, does it mean not protected by Microsoft?)


I am assuredly not an IP lawyer, and maybe I'm paranoid about subterfuge, but I would definitely consult one before agreeing to this license.

The problem comes with the way that "the patent rights Microsoft is licensing" is inspecific as to the direction of the verb "to license".

Is MS talking about some theoretical patent rights that they have licensed from a third party? They don't mention any specific third parties. They don't even explicitly bring up third parties at all in that clause.

Perhaps they talking about patent rights of their own that they are licensing to the downloader. This would be an important distinction.

In the first case, the whole license primarily covers the rights and restrictions around the *coyright* to the code. The second case enlarges the license's scope to include a broader range of IP law.

You could be licensing an MS-owned patent without realizing it. And by the text that finishes the clause, "... only apply to the Software, not to any derivatives you make." , your newly licensed rights seem to be limited to examination, with implementation firmly prohibited.

With as much hay as MS has made of the "viral nature" of the GPL, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they were looking for a way to adopt GPL methods to their own ends.

Gift horse? Mouth? Don't look, you say?
Tell that to the Trojans!

Yes, but is it FREE? (3)

samrolken (246301) | more than 13 years ago | (#70251)

You can come to church, but that doesn't mean that the blessing of the lord is with you, you know... just because they release the source code, it doesn't mean anything. It is just them trying to make it seem like they are dealing with competition (linux) so that the government doesn't get mad. Duh!

Re:Wow. (1)

tempest303 (259600) | more than 13 years ago | (#70254)

All in all, their Shared Source license isn't as horrible as some Slashbots would like you to believe. In fact, it's simpler, more concise, and more direct than the GPL, and arguably doesn't restrict you any more than the GPL does (aside from "commercial use" of the code)

except for, of course, the ability to redistribute your changes to *anyone* for *free* under the GPL...

problems (1)

IanA (260196) | more than 13 years ago | (#70255)

i don't know how much of a marketplace WinCE 3.0 has, but with Microsoft products having numerous exploits already I would think the release of source would just create a landslide of exploits...

Re:problems (1)

IanA (260196) | more than 13 years ago | (#70256)

yes, i agree security through obscurity doesn't work. open source works because you can fix the problems, but in microsofts case i don't think the problems will be fixed in a timely manner

Re:Is This how Microsoft Will Kill Linux? (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 13 years ago | (#70257)

No, they state in the license that if they sue they lose all rights...

Wait that doesn't apply to them, only you.

Re:problems (1)

TheBracket (307388) | more than 13 years ago | (#70260)

The second will happen if the patches are good. But since WinCE lies in ROM, it's going to be hard (impossible?) to get this onto devices.

That's not entirely true. If you have an old WinCE device (like my HP320LX), it is true that you have to ship a physical ROM upgrade. (The WinCE 2 upgrade was worth every penny!). My Compaq iPaq has a flashable ROM - and has already been the beneficiary of an upgrade.

Re:But wait... (1)

VersedM (323660) | more than 13 years ago | (#70264)

Why does everyone have this perception of everyone at Microsoft as a Snidely Whiplash type character, who sits around in boardrooms with other evil villains twirling his mustache and dreaming up ways to destroy everyone else and rule the world?

Maybe it was all the incriminating evidence that came out at trial?

And your point is??? (2)

janpod66 (323734) | more than 13 years ago | (#70265)

Where did this twisted notion come from that one should not benefit from reading copyrighted or patented work? The whole point of copyright and patent law is to encourage people to share their creations so that other people can learn from them. What's going to be next? You'll forever have to pay licensing fees to a textbook author because they help you avoid making mistakes?

Yes, contamination clauses are real. They are usually based on licensing agreements. They are sometimes enforceable, but when they are, they stand in contradiction to everything intellectual property law was meant to achieve.

let's not jump to conclusions (2)

janpod66 (323734) | more than 13 years ago | (#70266)

There are no explicit contamination clauses in the license. I think it is wrong to assume automatically that published, copyrighted source code contaminates you. It would be best to check with a lawyer and settle this once and for all. If contamination exists from looking at WinCE3 sources, more people than Linux kernel hackers need to know about it, and it could be a PR problem for MS. If no contamination exists, then people should feel free to look at the code.

viral and insidious (1)

pardonne (324157) | more than 13 years ago | (#70267)

> Even if you never look at the downloaded code,
> the electronic trail will look like you did --
> which is perhaps the most insidious aspect of
> this version of sharing. ...

It also goes the other way.
If you write closed source code and you download GPLed source code, PACMAN and his viral friends are going to come and get you.

Insidious indeed (2)

Garinwirth (325774) | more than 13 years ago | (#70270)

>a simple database query can establish whether "Yourname Lastname" had access to the Microsoft-owned code, which could result in legal problems down the road. Even if you never look at the downloaded code, the electronic trail will look like you did -- which is perhaps the most insidious aspect of this version of sharing.

So maybe they plan to look through open souce apps, find code similar to what they release, claim it was stolen, and litigate? I think I'll not download this, but thanks anyway.

Don't even think of it... (2)

mightyflash (444716) | more than 13 years ago | (#70275)

There are TONS of good code!
No reason to look at the devils code if I have to give my soul for it.

And the US DOD Releases Weapon Plans... (1)

idonotexist (450877) | more than 13 years ago | (#70278)

This action by MS is very akin to FOIA requirements for the U.S. Department of Defense. A visit to a government depository (usually a public library) can be interesting: diagrams of aircraft, weapons, military vehicles and other assorted 'violent toys.'

However, like the MS agreement, there are many laws restricting/prohibiting the use of such plans to build any such items.

Whoopie. Back to watching X File reruns...

Passport Login Could be a Clue (1)

idonotexist (450877) | more than 13 years ago | (#70279)

Microsoft requiring a passport login may further demonstrate the need to stay away from MS's share source. In this forum, I doubt I need to explain the ease in tracing a person's identity with a mere email address (esp. hotmail).

Would MS go to the trouble? Well, let's think about that for a moment --- If MS believes a portion of a kernel was borrowed or suggested by viewing MS's shared source, I think the answer is: Yes.

Legal ramifications = NULL (3)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 13 years ago | (#70280)

It's my understanding that Hotmail accounts are full-fledged Passport accounts. Hotmail accounts also required no real authentication, allowing any user (including myself) to set up some arbitrary ones with the name "Joe User" and the address "123 Anwhere Street".

So how in the hell are they going to look up your name and trace your footprints regarding who downloads what, when all they really have (using reasonable security with cookies turned off) is your IP address? Sounds like a false alarm on the legal front to me.

Do I intend to download the source? Absolutely. I'd love to see how they code embedded devices (which essentially have to be as tight code as you can get). Do I plan to use the source and redistribute it? No. Do I plan to think more about the more creative code and use highly-changed variations myself? Absolutely. There's only so many ways you can write cout I think I'm going to make it a habit to shoot down alarmists on Slashdot, because there seem to be a great number of them (including the editors).

Yes, This Is Indeed A Disturbing Universe... (1)

Vidmaster_Steve (455301) | more than 13 years ago | (#70282)

Actually, this is very interesting news. For a project in film school, I wrote a script entitled The Incredibly Stupid Toaster Aliens [damagemedia.com] . The Toaster Aliens were originally those wacky Japanese toasters that actually ran on WinCE, but were all infected by an alien computer system (which was spread via virii) and was eventually defeated by two quick-witted Linux programmers (4k4 l337 d3wdz). It was purty damned hilariante, but I never got around to shooting it. Oh well, maybe when some fundage comes along, I'll get around to putting it on tape. sigh, Damned poverty! Damn yoooooou!!!

Re:viral and insidious (1)

j7953 (457666) | more than 13 years ago | (#70287)

If you write closed source code and you download GPLed source code, PACMAN and his viral friends are going to come and get you.

And how exactly are "PACMAN" supposed to find you? Neither do they have the possibility to look at your code and see if you've copied something, nor do any GPL projects I know of require a registration to get the source. (And even if the official source did, you could just get the code somewhere else).

And since when is it illegal to look at others code to get some ideas? As long as you don't just copy, there's nothing wrong about this. You're also free to write a song even if you've listened to someone else's music before.

Insidous? (1)

decade_null (464270) | more than 13 years ago | (#70289)

Even if you never look at the downloaded code, the electronic trail will look like you did -- which is perhaps the most insidious aspect of this version of sharing.

Isn't that pretty much the same reason why many companies completely outlaw GPL software. If this licensing scheme is insidous, so is GPL.

Re:Direct Download (1)

MikeDillion (466444) | more than 13 years ago | (#70291)

damn they're stupid

Re:Insidious indeed (1)

Windfinder (469246) | more than 13 years ago | (#70295)

Big Brother Bill is watching.

I'm curious, but I probably shouldn't look. Knowing my luck something horrible will happen if I do. It makes you wonder why they've released this at all... M$ wouldn't do something useful.... or would they? (dun dun dun)
I'm scared

~Windfinder
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