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Microsoft Launches OSS Site, Submits License For Approval

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the working-together-hand-in-hand dept.

Microsoft 261

prostoalex writes "Microsoft has launched a site dedicated to collaboration between Microsoft and open source community. The site helps developers, IT administrators, and IT buyers find out what Microsoft's product offerings are, and read articles about open source such as 'Open Source Provider Sees Sales Doubling After Moving Solutions to the Windows Platform.'" Relatedly, CNet has the news that the company has submitted its shared-sources license to the OSI for approval.

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RUN AWAY!! (5, Funny)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002487)

Do like Microsoft does with standards... run away as far as possible as fast as you can.

Re:RUN AWAY!! (5, Insightful)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002993)

So, I'll take it as a given that no one reading this would ever consider contributing code to M$ "OSS" sites. So then the only other use for us would be to utilize their code in our products. I would recommend considering the following:

  • Are we guaranteed that the code is patent-free and will always be open for continued use?
  • Does their shared-source license allow easy mixing with other FLOSS code, eg GPL and BSD licenses?
  • Is there another, more well-established solution to the problem their code is solving?
  • And considering the "stability" of M$ products, do we even trust the code to do what they claims

For me, it would be more trouble than it's worth to use M$ code in any of my projects.

Re:RUN AWAY!! (5, Informative)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003437)

* Are we guaranteed that the code is patent-free and will always be open for continued use?
You are not guaranteed that with any other free software program. In fact, it's almost guaranteed that it does infringe software patents (both those existing now, and those that will be granted in the future).

* Does their shared-source license allow easy mixing with other FLOSS code, eg GPL and BSD licenses?
The GPL doesn't allow easy mixing with code under any other licence, so this seems a little unfair - but yes, practically speaking it may be a problem. Mixing with MIT-style or new-style BSD code is usually unproblematic since you can just relicense that code to match the fussier licence.

* Is there another, more well-established solution to the problem their code is solving?
Almost all free software projects fail this test.

* And considering the "stability" of M$ products, do we even trust the code to do what they claims
The whole point is that you can read the code for yourself, so you don't have to trust anyone.

I think a better list of things to consider is whether you have freedom to (1) use, (2) share, and (3) change the software. If you can do all those then it's free software, no matter which company it came from. There's no reason to hold Microsoft-written code to a different standard to other code. If it's free it's free.

Re:RUN AWAY!! (2, Insightful)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003561)

* Are we guaranteed that the code is patent-free and will always be open for continued use?
You are not guaranteed that with any other free software program. In fact, it's almost guaranteed that it does infringe software patents (both those existing now, and those that will be granted in the future).

Let me rephrase: Are we guaranteed that Microsoft won't claim that it has patented the code after we start using it?

* Does their shared-source license allow easy mixing with other FLOSS code, eg GPL and BSD licenses?
The GPL doesn't allow easy mixing with code under any other licence, so this seems a little unfair - but yes, practically speaking it may be a problem. Mixing with MIT-style or new-style BSD code is usually unproblematic since you can just relicense that code to match the fussier licence.

Using GPLed code under an M$ would almost certainly be problematic. I was talking about the other way. It's a lot easier to make OSS code GPLed than GPLed code go to a different license (aka, impossible).

* Is there another, more well-established solution to the problem their code is solving?
Almost all free software projects fail this test.

What does that mean? Most FLOSS software reinvents the wheel? True. But if you're looking to use someone else's code, why start at Microsoft?

* And considering the "stability" of M$ products, do we even trust the code to do what they claims
The whole point is that you can read the code for yourself, so you don't have to trust anyone.

It's possible to do so, but debugging something that's as buggy as I believe M$ code to be is probably a bigger undertaking than writing from scratch.

I think a better list of things to consider is whether you have freedom to (1) use, (2) share, and (3) change the software. If you can do all those then it's free software, no matter which company it came from. There's no reason to hold Microsoft-written code to a different standard to other code. If it's free it's free.

But there is reason to be more suspicious of M$ code for the reasons I mentioned. If I knew for a fact that ABC's OSS code had the flaws I refer to, I wouldn't use it either. I just don't trust Microsoft.

A Microsoft OSS Site? I've said it before... (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003195)

It's a cookbook!!

This is wrong. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002489)

Microsoft should just stick its head in the ground while chanting nonsensical gibberish and imposing ever more restrictive licenses on open source software.

I mean it work for Richard Stallman.

Re:This is wrong. (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002707)

stick its head in the ground while chanting nonsensical gibberish
"Aurf guffawaah maaafaaauwawa o faawwawo ei waaguwwaaa raufoiwafa."

itsatrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002501)

popular tag today...

Seen it before (2, Funny)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002507)

Yeah, and Attorney General Gonzalez swore to tell the truth before being questioned by the senate... And we all see how much -that- meant ...

The real reason (5, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002509)

Is that Balmer has run out of chairs. By doing this he hopes to gain access to all the Open Source communities chairs.

I think this should be submitted to Wikipedia.... (4, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002511)

for their "Spin" artice [wikipedia.org] as an example.

OT - Typical Microsoft web design (0, Offtopic)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002513)

The site displays a huge black rectangle over half the content if you don't allow it to use Shockwave Flash.

Talent Poaching. (2, Informative)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002515)

PR. Free product testing.

Any other ulterior motives?

Re:Talent Poaching. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002555)

Subversion.

Re:Talent Poaching. (3, Funny)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002715)

Subversion.

Nah, I'm sure Microsoft uses their own source management tool...

Re:Talent Poaching. (1)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002939)

Not a chance. No one ever became a large and successful software firm by using Microsoft source management tools...

Re:Talent Poaching. (1)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003075)

Well, maybe Microsoft started off using someone else's tools and then once they become "large and successful" they switched to their own solution. That would explain a lot actually...

Re:Talent Poaching. (1, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003089)

Team Foundation Server and the Team Edition tools are actually pretty good, certainly worth a look (if you aren't adverse to spending money). Its leaps and bounds ahead of the shitty Visual Source Safe crap.

Re:Talent Poaching. (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003401)

After all the horror stories I've heard about corrupted databases and using network drives as the sole means of accessing the repository with Visual Source Safe, I'm not sure if I'd ever want to use a source control system from MS. SVN and CVS are simple, well tested, and can be accessed in a about 1000 different ways, from almost every IDE and operating system. I don't see any strong points to Microsofts offerings, but I hear lots of downsides, such as being crashes, corrupted databases, and very heavy on the network. I think I remember something about having to be connected to edit code in the repository, but that's too stupid, so I must have misread that.

Re:Talent Poaching. (4, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002599)

If you can't beat 'em, join' em?

I mean, at the end of the day, a large chunk of OSS developers also have regular day jobs coding proprietary software for money. The money in OSS is in support, not in the end product itself.

Secondly, OSS only works for products, and we all know how the product-service life-cycle goes. So, if Microsoft can't make money out of a product, they can make money out of a service.

And so, even MS can now say that they are doing that "Open Source thing" when a potential customer's (tech-ignorant) management asks them.

This is probably a first step to that end. News at 11.

Re:Talent Poaching. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003339)

The money in OSS is in support, not in the end product itself.
This is true even of closed source software. MS may make some money selling copies of Windows, Office, and a bunch of other applications. But they also make a lot of money on support contracts, training courses, certifications, and all the other stuff that goes inline with selling the software. There is a lot of money to be made helping people use software, because most of the people using it have no idea how it works.

Re:Talent Poaching. (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002771)

Yes.

"Hey, we're contributing this code to the open source community."
"Oh, cool, this is pretty useful, nice interface. "my mom likes it!" "Hm ... are we sure about this?" "Oh, hush!"
*wait, wait, wait* *most OSS projects now include the code from the MS contribution* "OMG!!!! That was actually copyrighted proprietary code!"
*wins enormous judgment against anyone using it*

Re:Talent Poaching. (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003469)

Wouldn't that be rather hard to hold up in court? An open source project wouldn't include code without a license to do so.

Re:Talent Poaching. (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003571)

dual license, then you could try to slip it through. Especially, if the open code were pulled down (maybe even edited drastically), or just flat out deleted.

Re:Talent Poaching. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002845)

embrace, extend, extinguish, we are at the "embrace" stage; two more steps in Microsoft's plans to go...

Re:Talent Poaching. (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003447)

except it seems that every time M$ tries to "hug" the community, it just gets bigger, then a couple of years later M$ comes back arms wide open again.

PR, Confusion, Vista Launch, the usual. (-1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003357)

Vista is failing in the marketplace [slashdot.org] because M$ continues to play their stupid monopoly tricks. Vista is the most restrictive and buggy version of Windoze yet. They are currently making life hard for anti-virus makers, Google, Firefox [slashdot.org] , iPod [slashdot.org] , Palm [palm.com] and OpenOffice, even Adobe. As usual, the M$ replacements are technically inferior. Between that and all of the MAFIAA friendly digital restrictions Vista is still a disaster that people are avoiding.

To compensate M$ is doing what it usually does, claiming everything good for themselves, sabotaging and lying about everyone else. They have been playing the blame game for a long time now [kickassgear.com] , sabotaging the competition and them blaming them for the problems. In this case, they are desperate to claim all of the goodness of free software for themselves and cause confusion about real free software. OOXML, is that "Open Office XML"? No, it's M$'s confusing term for it's incomplete and patent encumbered new Office format. "Shared Source", is that something new from Debian? No, it's the usual "what's ours is ours and what's yours is ours" way of stealing your work. Free software is their main competitor, so they are going to try to say they are all the good things free software is and that free software has all the problems they do because "complex systems" just act that way.

This kind of thing would be laughable if it were not for the billions of dollars they have to spend pushing it all out. People want a new Office format, a new computer and a new GUI like they want a hole in their head. M$'s shoddy stuff has damaged the entire industry's reputation. It's finally come home to them in poor sales, but the same poor sales are going to hurt everyone else too.

Re:PR, Confusion, Vista Launch, the usual. (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003535)

People want a new Office format, a new computer and a new GUI like they want a hole in their head.

Actually, I really wouldn't mind a new computer.

Buckling under pressure? (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002553)

Wasn't this the same company that called the GPL a virus, and spread FUD about FOSS being communist and undermining the whole industry? Guess even the giants can change and adapt when pushed by something more pure than profits.

Re:Buckling under pressure? (5, Informative)

Door in Cart (940474) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002763)

Re:Buckling under pressure? (1)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002871)

FOSS != OSS

However, for the current purposes (ie, how M$ relates to it) I think it's fair to put FOSS and OSS in the same camp: Microsoft has in the past attacked both of them.

I mean, really... (4, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002557)

Microsoft is now trying to catch some of the OSS halo effect... while trying to figure out how to own it... or at least trash it? Who do they think is going to buy into anything like this? I guess when your primary business model is going down in flames, you need to co-opt someone else's.

Re:I mean, really... (4, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002601)

They've had a hard time vanquishing OSS by embracing and extending standards, so now they'll try to embrace and extend code and licenses.

Expect the same tactics on different fronts. It's still Microsoft, and they are still run by the same inner circle of Gates and Ballmer cronies no matter what Hilf does from his little playpen.

Re:I mean, really... (2, Insightful)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003273)

They've had a hard time vanquishing OSS by embracing and extending standards, so now they'll try to embrace and extend code and licenses.

Given the recent decision by the OSI to endorse badgeware [theregister.co.uk] , the 'Open Source' community appear to be doing their work for them.

Interesting site (5, Insightful)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002575)

It seems Microsoft's approach on this site, is to twist the terminology and meaning of Open Source to link it to their products.

From the site (microsoft.com/opensource), they've linked to a PDF [microsoft.com] explaining how SharePoint (first link, 'share' and 'open') is the 'Road To Open' and the Sharepoint Learning Kit (SLK) has been released under Microsoft's own OSI-submitted open source license.

Could the idea be to confuse the average consumers (and buzz-word obsessed manager types) into thinking Microsoft when they hear 'Open Source'?

Either way, it's interesting to see them formally acknowledge their opponents - again!

Re:Interesting site (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002721)

This just goes to show the problem with the whole "open source" versus Free Software idea in general. If you try to dress something up to make it more appealing to robber barons, you will probably create something that is much easier for those robber barons to hijack. There's a reason that Free Software gives some people the willies. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

Re:Interesting site (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002733)

Well said. There have been signs of this "openness" pretense for a while. How does that saying go? "..but keep your enemies closer".

hypocrisy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002901)

It seems this site's approach on Microsoft, is to twist anything it does to link it to evilness. I mean come on. First Windows wasn't secure enough. So Vista has more security. Then Slashdotters bitch about it having TOO much. One of the most common bitches here is that MS is closed and proprietary. Now they are entering a product into OSS and now Slashdotters bitch about that.
Here, have some cake - you can eat it too!!!

Re:Interesting site (2, Informative)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002935)

Worse still, with this so-called 'product' in particular. The article goes into long,loving prose describing the development of the learning kit, it's functional origins in a now-defunct product, how it provides great value to education users, promotes peace throughout the land, etc... and omits how useless it is without having already purchased a decidedly non-open and very expensive SharePoint product.

Where is the value here for the customer? This is an improvement,how? Great, customers get a development kit optimized for producing a certain type of SharePoint object set. Just another SDK...whoop-dee-bleeping-doo. How is this different from the legion of Microsoft SDKs and APIs produced over the last 25 years?

Same tired horse, different saddle. Not that I'm very surprised.

Re:Interesting site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003123)

Same tired horse, different saddle
I'd say it's more like riding a bike without a saddle :p

Re:Interesting site (1, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003221)

and omits how useless it is without having already purchased a decidedly non-open and very expensive SharePoint product.


Ok, this is my second 'non-anti-MS' comment today, and my karma will almost certainly suffer for it, but here goes anyway.

The PDF linked to talks about Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0, which is actually zero cost and downloadable from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads [microsoft.com] - you seem to be making the assumption that its talking about Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007. Its not.

We have a winner!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002589)

Microsoft has launched a site dedicated to collaboration between Microsoft and open source community.

Finally -- A viable contender for the "Worlds smallest Web Site" award!

Re:We have a winner!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002621)

Oh... good! The world's shortest book: "Microsoft's Contributions to Technology"!

What was that... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002623)

about adding my "biological and technological distinctiveness to our own?"

What do the latest Halloween documents say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002635)

Shame we don't have a fresh leak of the Halloween files - as it is pretty clear they have an active and aggressive strategy in play at the moment (different from previous FUD efforts) to try and kill the OSS community - smokescreens like this junk don't happen by accident.

Keep your friends close... (2, Insightful)

Interl0per (1045948) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002639)

Interesting strategic move, I assume they're trying to leverage the Open Source buzzword without buying in to the free as in speech model, which is where some of the more fascinating innovations in development and marketing could possibly be hatched. Will this make even a ripple in the free software community?

Congrats asshole (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002649)

Re:Congrats asshole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003361)

I don't think that's proper language at all.

Steven
s.mooreston.57@gmail.com

Remind me why I give a shit? (4, Insightful)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002651)

Windows is an pathetic excuse for a platform. It doesn't even properly implement the minimal syscalls required by the POSIX standard (open, close, read, write, fork, exec).

If they actually cared about getting more open source developers to port their applications to Windows, they'd harmonise their API with the other major operating systems (Linux, OS X, Solaris, *BSD). As it is, this just looks like (yet another) an attempt by Microsoft to paint over the gaping flaws in both their business model and their approach to software development.

Wake me up when that changes. Until then, I really couldn't give a shit about Microsoft's supposed "friendliness" to open source software or their non-free "open" license.

Re:Remind me why I give a shit? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003101)

"If they actually cared about getting more open source developers to port their applications to Windows, they'd harmonise their API with the other major operating systems (Linux, OS X, Solaris, *BSD)."
Windows isn't Unix. NT did include a POSIX system but that bit-rotted from lack of use and was removed I believe.
Kind of like damming VMS or the AS400 for not supporting all the Win32 calls.

Re:Remind me why I give a shit? (0, Troll)

zx-15 (926808) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003197)

Windows isn't Unix. NT did include a POSIX system but that bit-rotted from lack of use and was removed I believe.

This is called bait and switch, I believe.

Re:Remind me why I give a shit? (0)

W3bbo (727049) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003311)

There's no need to troll. Windows Server R2 does actually implement POSIX, it's a very complete implementation too. Look up "Windows Services for UNIX". Microsoft has everything to gain from interopability with *NIX applications, it means more marketshare for them. Consider what Apple is doing with Windows is what Microsoft is doing with *NIX: "allow them to run their programs on our OS, but not vice-versa". And FYI, there's a massive section in MSDN on advice for porting programs from *NIX to Windows, including XWindows.

Re:Remind me why I give a shit? (3, Insightful)

krelian (525362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003345)

Windows is an pathetic excuse for a platform. It doesn't even properly implement the minimal syscalls required by the POSIX standard (open, close, read, write, fork, exec).

Well, they don't really have to, do they? Who said that every OS needs to be POSIX compatible? If they thought POSIX was superior they would have based their system on it and not try to create a new one. Windows Services For Unix [microsoft.com] 's purpose is to help in migration and not be a full POSIX implementation.

If they actually cared about getting more open source developers to port their applications to Windows, they'd harmonise their API with the other major operating systems (Linux, OS X, Solaris, *BSD). As it is, this just looks like (yet another) an attempt by Microsoft to paint over the gaping flaws in both their business model and their approach to software development.

Wake me up when that changes. Until then, I really couldn't give a shit about Microsoft's supposed "friendliness" to open source software or their non-free "open" license.

Microsoft's OSS purpose is not to spread free software and love but to help educate the people who use and develop for MS software. MS finally understands that letting developers peak inside and see exactly how the API they are using does its job is educational and helps developers create better software. This of course indirectly affects the quality of MS software and platforms and as a result, their bottom line.

Their is OSS as a software development paradigm and their is Free software. Going Free is not going to help MS one bit, showing the world their code is.

Re:Remind me why I give a shit? (1)

eht (8912) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003405)

You obviously give enough of a shit to comment.

Re:Remind me why I give a shit? (1)

Slackus (598508) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003619)

...gaping flaws in both their business model...

With a profit for their fourth quarter of $3.04 billion [nytimes.com] it's hardly what I would call gaping flaws in their business model.

EEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002685)

Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish.

Near 100% increase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002699)

So a company providing OSS solutions started providing Windows solutions as well and they nearly doubled the sales. In other words, the Windows version didn't sell as good as the other alternatives combined?

Run! (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002703)

No good can come from this. Expect some MVPs donating code but real OSS developers? I dont think so =P

Re:Run! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003289)

Just to keep anon, but I'm an MVP and I contribute to one of the largest ASP.NET open source projects. Mind you it is BSD licensed, we simply prefer that as opposed to the religion that seems to have come out of redefining free to make the narrow viewpoint / vision of one person.

For some reason looking at their OSS site (4, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002705)

gives me a weird feeling in my stomache. I'm not sure what it is, but I got a chill up and down my spine. I can't catagorize either feeling as good or bad, just strange. When it comes to that empire my first question is usually what's their real objective, with this one I'm not 100% sure and that scares me.

Does this mean we actually crossed over the line as legitimate to them, or is this bait for something else?

Explanation please (2, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002741)

Through that site I came across the "Microsoft Permissive License". The "conditions and limitations" of the license have this clause:

3(B) If you bring a patent claim against any contributor over patents that you claim are infringed by the software, your patent license from such contributor to the software ends automatically.

I don't understand this - can someone explain? If you bring a patent claim against a contributor then how does that contributor have a "patent license" that then ends?

Re:Explanation please (2, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003403)

"A" puts something patented in MS "Open Source" code. MSPL says you have a license to use that patent.
You patent something else. "A" does something that you think violates that patent. You sue "A".
Congratulations! Your license to use "A"'s patent has been yanked.

Re:Explanation please (4, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003473)

It's a reciprocity clause. Suppose A holds some patents, and they've contributed them to software S and licensed them for use there. Now, B comes along and sues everybody using software S (including A) claiming that it infringes some other patents held by B. If B uses S themselves, the clause is intended to insure that B loses their license to A's patents, opening them to being counter-sued by A for patent infringement. The idea is to force a situation where a patent-holder can't block everyone else from benefiting from a piece of software while continuing to benefit from it themselves.

Re:Explanation please (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003631)

"I don't understand this - can someone explain?"

It means if you are using someone's software which contains patented code, and you then sue that someone for infringing on any patent you may hold, your right to use the code covered by that someone's patent automatically ends.

Ahh, the irony.... (1)

guitaristx (791223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002749)

Isn't it ironic how Microsoft's site dedicated to open-source has a big, fancy, proprietary Flash movie at its core?

Re:Ahh, the irony.... (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003017)

Isn't it ironic how Microsoft's site dedicated to open-source has a big, fancy, proprietary Flash movie at its core?
Curious question. How come Flash haters never demand to see or get a copy of the raw film footage after seeing their favorite movie in the theatre?

Flash.fla is to Flash.swf as Film Reel is to Movie.

I mean really, if we're going to be consistent here, ya really oughta bitch about the movie industry. :D

(Oh, and just to cut anyone off at the pass with the expected reply of "We can buy a DVD copy", that's nothing like a raw film reel (ie source).

Re:Ahh, the irony.... (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003303)

I believe the parent was talking more about the fact that Gnash (alpha quality) aside, there's no way for the people they're trying to reach to view a Flash movie whilst maintaining the consistent ethical view of the free software community.

Re:Ahh, the irony.... (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003569)

I believe the parent was talking more about the fact that Gnash (alpha quality) aside, there's no way for the people they're trying to reach to view a Flash movie whilst maintaining the consistent ethical view of the free software community.
I know. I was off topic on purpose. Ok. I'll be on topic this time.

If anyone really believes that opinion, then they should start demanding OSS sites release PSD, AI, XCF, CDR, or SVG files pertaining to any raster images featured on the OSS site, because those file formats are the source code equivalents for image files.

Some here are crying hypocrisy but blatantly ignore OSS hypocrisy where it exists.

Re:Ahh, the irony.... (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003651)

Of course, that assumes such files exist.

For example, I run http://www.gnu.org/ [gnu.org] - a lot of our graphics were created in the days before people did drawing on computers.

But yeah, all our modern stuff should be up there.

http://www.gnu.org/graphics/ [gnu.org] - go nuts.

Re:Ahh, the irony.... (1)

tribes (613022) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003479)

Wouldn't the movie's script be the "source" in your example?

Re:Ahh, the irony.... (1)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003627)

No, the script is the design document :)

Microsoft vs Open Source (1)

Livius (318358) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002787)

I guess when you're # 2 you try harder. Or something like that.

I think Microsoft is acknowledging that they've been overtaken by open source; I know on my machine the latest versions of KUbuntu have practically made Windows XP obsolete.

All this from someone who works @ Novell (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002799)

So I'm confused, is this considered a shill or just a biased opinion, considering that the author works for SCO?
 



From Alfresco.com:

Prior to Alfresco, Asay co-founded Novell®'s Linux Business Office in 2002 and was an early agitator and architect for the company's shift to open source. In 2003 Asay founded the Open Source Business Conference, the industry's premier open source strategy event, and has served as an Entreprenuer-in-Residence for Thomas Weisel Venture Partners, focusing on open source investment opportunities. Before Novell, Asay was General Manager at Lineo® [wikipedia.org] , an embedded Linux software startup, where he ran Lineo's Residential Gateway business.
  If anyone's wondering who Lineo is, its Caldera AKA SCO GROUP [wikipedia.org] . How does someone this biased manage to make it on CNET? Can someone explain that to me please?

Their long term strategy... (3, Interesting)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002801)

...is to patent Open Source.

That's right - all your codebase belong to them.

Did anybody else's... (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002805)

bullshit detector just blow up?

Wasn't it within the last year that Balmy Balmer was frothing at the mouth about how he was going to destroy Linux and feed Torvalds to frickin sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads?

I'd like to believe that the SCO experiment taught them OSS has a leg to stand on, but that would make me a starry eyed optimist and I'm just not.

It's a trap. (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002815)

I haven't read the article, I haven't seen the site or the license they submitted.

But I know Microsoft. It's a trap. Either short-term, or long-term. Somehow, this is designed to ultimately restrict our freedoms or slow down the replacement of non-free software with free software.

You may call be bigoted, or a troll. I see my view on this particular issue as just highly conditioned from decades of experience.

Re:It's a trap. (4, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003193)

But I know Microsoft. It's a trap.

It wasn't meant to be. Things would have been a lot clearer to everyone, but the domain that Ballmer wanted [fuckyouverymuch.com] was already taken.

Re:It's a trap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003423)

Microsoft's "Shared Source" license (or at least the version I've seen) is more of an NDA than a license. It allows you to look at the source, and change it for private and academic uses. But you can't redistribute your modified version, and you can't pass the source on to anyone else. I really don't know why they bothered submitting it to the OSI, it's obvious that it doesn't meet the commonly accepted criteria for Open Source.

MS Does Support OpenSource (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002817)

They do support folks Developing on their platforms, just check out http://www.codeplex.com/ [codeplex.com] for examples of community develped open source code on MS products.

I see no harm in this at all... (unlike most) (1, Insightful)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002887)

MS knows it can't fight open source software (legally or marketwise) and attempting to do so is futile as we've seen with FUD, SCO, and hinting around with patents. Open source can't be squashed, so the next best thing is getting you to run it on Windows instead of Linux. You can debate about Microsoft's motives and intent all day long but you have to remember it's a corporation. Individual psychology does not apply when understanding a corporation's motives. A corporation will attack a problem (ahem Linux) on all fronts, which can and does result in Microsoft performing confusing or opposing actions.

I happen to be a big fan of OSS on Windows (particularly Firefox, Apache/PHP/MySQL, Gimp, Cygwin, Perl, GCC, and a few others). Running those apps on Windows means you will continue funneling money to Microsoft by means of upgrades and support. It's actually rather frustrating to search for free apps for Windows only to discover most are trialware or castrateware. Sometimes you just want a really simple app and paying for it is not a desirable option for you.

I don't have any problem with anyone who opts to use or opts to write OSS for Windows. Windows may not provide value for you Linux or BSD elitists, but it does for those who want it.

OK. Now continue on your bitchfest, but know this. I'm not going to participate. :D

Step one in an anti-GPL 3 move? (2, Interesting)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002897)

I blogged on the subject recently: [oneandoneis2.org]

MS has a number of proprietary things that the FOSS world would like to get inter-operable. The NTFS file system. The Office formats. Etc. etc. And the EU has been nagging at them to release interoperability information for ages.

Since MS seems to really dislike GPL v3, they could solve a lot of their problems with a simple move: Release all the code necessary to get interoperability under Linux working. Under GPL v2 only.

Take Samba. Samaba is going GPL v3-only. If MS released some significantly-big swathes of code under v2-only that resulted in much better Linux-Windows networking compatibility, a lot of people would use the MS-code with the last GPL-v2 release of Samba: Most end users are more concerned with how well software works than with which license it's released under.

That would leave the Samba team with two choices: Stick with GPL v3 and have a less-popular, less-functional fork of their own software. Or cave in and go back to GPL v2 so they can take advantage of the GPL'd code from MS.

And either way, MS would be able to show to concerned parties, such as the EU antitrust people, that they have finally released the code that the FOSS people have been demanding, under the single most popular FOSS license in current use.

Re:Step one in an anti-GPL 3 move? (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003041)

That's a WIN, by the way, for the OSS Community. GPLv2 is JUST FINE, and if MSFT is suckered into that route, I see nothing but upside.

Re:Step one in an anti-GPL 3 move? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003433)

Re: Samba...

<RUMOR>
I've heard that the MS guys don't *KNOW* everything their network stack does, and use the Samba stuff as documentation.
</RUMOR>

Re:Step one in an anti-GPL 3 move? (2, Interesting)

Darth (29071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003663)

except that the Samba team would then use the gplv2 code to be able to see both sides of the process and be able to more accurately document the protocol. Then they would reimplement the protocol in their own code under gplv3.

This would do nothing to stop the gplv3 from being adopted by Samba.

I dont think microsoft has any intention of using any version of the gpl. They are trying to get their shared source licenses approved as official open source licenses.

I think the point of this is that open source application development doesn't harm microsoft if they can have it done on their platform and on their terms. I think it's an acknowledgement that open source application adoption for some areas and for some users is inevitable and they are trying to minimize the impact that will have on their monopolies by making the choice to use those applications not necessitate changing platforms.

It is probably also an attempt to take open source developer mindshare away from the things they feel are the real threats in the open source community (the gpl in general; linux and the gnu tools in specific)

Re:Step one in an anti-GPL 3 move? (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003679)

That wouldn't be very effective for Microsoft. It doesn't matter under which Free license the mythical MS interoperability code is released since the concepts are not restricted. All it takes is for someone to document what the code does, then the Samba team could write its own implementation.

new tag: ivegotabadfeelingaboutthis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20002933)

c'mon, it's not the longest one i've seen

Re:new tag: ivegotabadfeelingaboutthis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003483)

c'mon, it's not the longest one i've seen

That's what yo mama said.

I wasn't insulted because she's seen it all.

disruptive technology (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20002985)

I'd just read a story on how Steve Ballmer said that "the company is tackling disruptive technology changes head-on" and both Steve and Bill were uncharacteristically telling analysts that everything was smelling like roses at Microsoft. Now, seeing this story of what's really MS "Get The Facts, Part Deux" and I'm thinking that the "disruptive technology" Balmer spoke of was probably not Google but more likely was Linux, OSS, and AJAX technologies.

IMO, it appears that Linux and OSS is making enough of a dent into Microsofts expansion plans that they feel they need to put up a site where existing Microsoft customers can "learn" about OSS from Microsoft instead of going off to some Linux distro and learning about it from a direction which will likely lead away from Microsoft software. Good move on Microsofts part but how effective it'll be is questionable. With pre-configured and free virtual machine images available for all kinds of experimentation( http://vmware.com/products/free_virtualization.htm l [vmware.com] ) it's a tough battle keeping Windows developers tied only to Windows for next-gen products. So it'll keep some hardcore Microsoft customers but the newer customers can and will easily find Linux and OSS enticing once they learn the ropes. IMO.

BTW, Microsoft normally tries to play down growth and future revenue to the financial analysts so to more easily meet and/or beat expectations. The "everything is smelling like roses" stories are usually reserved for the CEO, CTO, and other PHB style of gatherings. So this seems like the first telling of the story of what's really keeping these guys up at night. And Google is definitely part of that story too.

LoB

Flash Player (1)

thePsychologist (1062886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003025)

It's interesting that their open source site requires the proprietary Flash player to display all content.

Move a fork of WINE there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003037)

Let's see if Microsoft can stand by OSS more than Bitkeeper could --

Let's move a copy of WINE there with the intention to port it over to run on Mono ...

I'll believe it when I see it (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003059)

Open source IE. 'Nuff said.

Typical knee jerk reaction to anything Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003077)

Oh come on guys, don't be stupid. The quality of the comments in /. has become similar to the drivel that Digg's posters "contribute".

Initiatives like Codeplex have been around for a while and I've personally participated in a few .NET open source projects. There is a vast open source community that works with Microsoft technologies. There is no conspiracy. There is no embrace and extinguish. They are being pragmatic about Open Source and promoting it where it fits instead of dogmatically pushing it wherever they can.

More like a conditioned reflex than a knee-jerk (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003693)

After decades of EEE, and millions of dollars spent on numerous mis-information campaigns, and lying to the US-DoJ, and lying to the EU, bogus lawsuits, bogus patens, tax fraud, etc. I think a bit of skepticism with regard to msft, is warranted.

First product: New, free Microsoft OS (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003119)

...OpenBSoD

No Traction Whatsoever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003279)

I'm so glad I don't have to care about anything Microsoft does. Linux and perhaps to a lessor extent Solaris are a system integrator's dream come true, in terms of the shear number of pre-integrated components. Even if Microsoft decided to make an open source variant of Windows, how long would it take them to duplicate __that__? The most innovative folks in the crowd truly don't care about Microsoft anymore. Microsoft knows that open source resources are far more valued than anything closed that they are offering. Microsoft is now standing on the losing end of the stick, unable to find a way to engage the F/OSS community in a meaningful way. Heck, even Oracle has done far better. "Yes, you can run my closed source DB on your open source OS" gets much better traction than what Microsoft is saying, namely "you can run your open source app on my closed source OS".

Snake oil from a great salesman (1)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003305)

http://www.microsoft.com/opensource/faq.mspx'>Thei r OSS site's FAQ

It (their investment in OSS) is totally bogus.

We don't even know what OSS licenses they are advocating.

I really doubt this is going to go anywhere. They are trying to jump on the OSS bandwagon and follow suit similar to companies like Sun and Intel but are doing it their normal kludgy way of anything. Ripoffs and emulations aside, The past year of MS releases (ideas & products alike) have been really seeming like these bastardized & frankenstein-ed ideas that someone came up with before & did a better job with.

Reality World (1)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003373)

I think we should all vote MS off of FOSS Island at the end of today's episode.

MS Open source website? ooookkk (5, Interesting)

opieum (979858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003485)

Well this is interesting. It is the equivalent of asking a Nazi about Jews and expecting objectivity. Also MS is having trouble having people developing on their platform. They are losing developers for Mac OS and Linux. People know a sinking ship when they see one. Plus the subtle jabs they take at developers claiming that it is their software causing security problems (which is partly but not totally true) why would anyone want to develop for MS when OSS provides full flexibility. People can see the code and not come up with hackish solutions or workarounds to problems they may encounter. http://www.cio.com/article/122152/Microsoft_Window s_Loses_Ground_With_Developers_Survey_Says [cio.com] With Vista being a mess of compatibility and DRM/WDM/"Security" laden crap, it makes it hard for any real innovation to happen in the application space. I used to work for MS. One of the biggest gripes I heard was that drivers were always made wrong. Applications were usually buggy which caused problems with the OS. While again that is PARTIALLY true, part of the problem was the fact that I later learned (after I left MS for the real world) that coding for Windows platforms is a PITA. The closed nature makes everything a hackish effort. Workarounds here, hooks there. Linux, BSD and other open source kernels out there have easy access to the lowest level if necessary of the kernels and OS in general. This makes it extremly easy to integrate with a minimum to intermiediate learning curve (if you are coming off Visual Studio specifically)

Guys, you're doing it wrong. (4, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003677)

This is how to do it:

"Claims that Open Source Software would be legally troublesome or low quality are completely unfounded. Plenty of large organisations are deeply ivolved with open source development and recognise its potential. As an example, even Microsoft, a company traditionally commited to the closed source model and a long standing sceptic of many open source projects, has recently started to use it for its own codebase and has launched open source initiatives of its own: . Althou the project has had some problems, some of whic were related to the inability of the closed portion of the software to interoperate with the open bit, the work proceeds and recent developments has lead some analysts to predict the company may consider using the same model for other projects as well."

Lets see them try to argue with that one... If they claim the article is accurate they will be promoting OSS. If they claim the project has problems they are admitting that yet another of their projects is a complete failure. If they try to claim the proprietary bit is doing well but the open bit is doing bad, they will piss off anyone participating which could easily lead to a good chunk of bad press. Lets help them shoot themselves in the foot.
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