The Microsoft way with Apache

In making the Microsoft contribution announcement on his blog Ramji specifically cited "The Apache Way" of collaboration as a model for the future. As opposed to, say, FOSS.

Sam Ramji, head of Microsoft open source
For its customers.

Microsoft can no longer pretend that even its best customers live in a homogeneous world.

Nearly all must deal with Apache servers -- the latest Netcraft survey shows Apache with 49% of the market, and Microsoft's momentum of 2006 stalled out.

Given that reality Microsoft had to make its move, becoming a major sponsor of the Apache Foundation.

Sam Ramji (above), the Microsoft executive who announced the Apache support, ironically gave Open Office its top Sourceforge Community Award later the same day.

So with Microsoft now contributing money and code to Apache and other open source projects, is there anything bad we can say?

Combine Microsoft's support of Apache with Google's preference for making its own open source contributions under the Apache license, and you have significant momentum for the BSD-like Apache license in its continuing competition with the GPL.

In making the Microsoft contribution announcement on his blog Ramji specifically cited "The Apache Way" of collaboration as a model for the future. As opposed to, say, FOSS.

The main difference between the two licenses, of course, is that Apache licensees can use the code they get in their own products, under other license terms, while GPL licensees have to give that code back.

So if Microsoft wants to do some tweaks to what it has offered, it can. Competition is moving from the law courts to the workbench, where it belongs.

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