What does Microsoft really think of open source?

Summary:Pressed by the EU to create a server license allowing interoperability with other systems, Microsoft delivered a license that specifically prohibits it with open source, ZDNet reports today in the UK. Microsoft agreed with an interoperability license to comply with an EU antitrust decision, which it still seeks to overturn.

Pressed by the EU to create a server license allowing interoperability with other systems, Microsoft delivered a license that specifically prohibits it with open source, ZDNet reports today in the UK.

Microsoft agreed with an interoperability license to comply with an EU antitrust decision, which it still seeks to overturn. Meanwhile it has whipped out the "WSPP Development Agreement," which requires royalties just to use technical documentation on implementing its server protocols.

The result makes it impossible for open source products like Samba, used for file and print sharing with Linux systems, to interoperate with Windows. Which is what Samba is designed to do.

Royalties to look at the documentation? No apologizes from the Redmond-ites. "The licence offers the same terms to all -- anybody who wants to take the licence is free to do so," said a Microsoft spokesman.

Microsoft makes a lot of noise about wanting to cooperate with customers, who want (if nothing else) heterogenous systems. But don't listen to what someone does. Look at what they do.

Topics: Microsoft

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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