Open source threat to Windows

Summary:I have written a lot over the last few days about open source Windows applications.But there is a more general open source threat to Windows.

I have written a lot over the last few days about open source Windows applications.

But there is a more general open source threat to Windows.

Here's one example. Trolltech is about to release QT,its toolkit for developing cross-platform graphical applications, under the General Public License, as well as under a proprietary license.

The idea behind QT is you use C++ to create graphic interfaces that run under Linux, the Mac and Windows without changes to the underlying code. The new business model is you get any license you prefer, and maybe your lawyers miss a few billable hours.

Trolltech is a small outfit, but its move is aimed at Microsoft's big customers. And Microsoft is responding. It's thinking of releasing the source code of Windows Forms to developers, as our Martin LaMonica reports. So far, this is mainly an idea being floated by Shawn Burkeof the Windows Forms team.

But Microsoft doesn't take actions, or think about actions, or let its employees publicly think about actions, without a sound business reason.

And there is a sound business reason here.

Microsoft customers want source code.

And if Microsoft customers want Windows source code so bad that Microsoft is even thinking about giving it to them, that should tell you a lot about the amount of pressure there is, not just on Microsoft but on Windows, from the open sourceidea.

But you should tell me why I'm wrong about this at TalkBack. I look forward to hearing from you.

Topics: Windows

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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