Will open source accept Microsoft leadership

Will open source accept Microsoft leadership

Summary: To many within the open source business community this has created a new "live and let live" attitude toward Microsoft. But is that true generally?


Microsoft is determined to be a leader of the open source movement.

It will once again be a "platinum sponsor" at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco next month and its National Technology Officer for the U.S., Stuart McKee, will deliver a keynote.

McKee, former CIO for Washington state, may be best known to open source advocates for admitting that "ODF won" the standards battle with Microsoft's Open Office XML back in 2008.

The last year has seen Microsoft continue its charm offensive with open source, which has succeeded in winning admiration from business-oriented open source leaders.

The company has also tried to disconnect itself from CodePlex, the open source repository it launched. This is reflected in the creation of a separate foundation, under Paula Hunter. It is also reflected through things like support for Mercurial on Codeplex, in addition to its own Team Foundation Server.

Both sides have suffered from the Microsoft-open source war, with Microsoft finding its valuation stable over the last decade and many open source businesses finding the capital windows shut in the wake of the financial crisis.

To many within the open source business community this has created a new "live and let live" attitude toward Microsoft.

But is that true generally? Take our poll and let's find out.[poll=114]

Topics: CXO, Microsoft, Open Source

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Look for the Hook, before you swallow the bait!

    Anything open source from Microsoft needs to be examined very carefully to check for the baited hook!
  • Why trust those that cannot be trusted

    For years Ballmer called linux and open source a cancer
    and other sad word ....

    Now they cant win so they will join WTF

    If anyone who's stupid enough to trust MS well good luck
    with own funeral .

    MS cannot and should not be trusted for no matter what so
    • The prophecy, mon amis!

      [i]Now they cant win so they will join WTF[/i]

      "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

      Mahatma Ghandi
      • RE: Will open source accept Microsoft leadership

        Both sides have suffered from the Microsoft-open source war, with Microsoft finding its valuation stable over the last decade and many open source businesses finding the capital windows shut in the wake of the financial crisis.<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="LightGrey"> k</font></a>
    • you mean like how open source uses proprietary code more and more?

      Because those with an ounce of sense have realized they have to.
      RMS has said he'll support proprietary extensions....WOOOOWEEEEEEEEEEE.

      Isn't that a capital crime in the world of Microsoft hating religious zealots who have staked their entire lives and self worth on the ideology that open source RULZZZZZZ!!

      If a man spends a year architecting, designing and developing a system that creates great ROI, he must share said work with everyone, less he be sent to leper island. The Lord God has said LET THERE BE OPEN SOURCE!

      Or maybe it's two different models and we are free to choose or even combine without zealots stepping over the boundries of free speech into libelous tirades.
  • RE: Will open source accept Microsoft leadership

    Embrce Extend Extinguish . Microsoft like clockwork.
  • The MS 230 ip purportedly infringed patents issue has not been forgotten.

    From where I come, that is not leadership.
    • "Purportedly"

      [i]reputed or claimed; alleged:[/i]

      Though usually given to no facts
    • Yeah, I'm sure the people who designed the software in question...

      are not exactly happy and probably have not forgotten either.

      You have no idea if they are infringements and the reasoning behind MS not pushing it to court. It's hard to pin down an "owner" to open source and it would have been a huge time consuming fiasco that would have certainly been portrayed by the obvious anti-MS media (of course the bloggers here for certain) as MS being a bully against the "little man" just writing code and living off what he can scrape up begging for change.
      It's like how MS software is pirated on the internet. One site has one piece, another has a piece and so on until it's almost impossible to put your finger on who is responsible.
      Who would be responsible? Richard Stallman? Linus Torvalds? 2500 seperate copyright holders here, 100,000 there.
      That's what makes open source a no go for many is the lack of ownership, therefor as MS said many years ago, the lack of indemnity and the reliability that your code will continue to be supported by someone close to the project.
      • ownership...pls tell MS to live by that too

        MS owns Windows since the days of DOS, but I have yet to see them taking 'ownership' of ALL the bugs(security related or otherwise) seriously. It has always been an 'upgrade to the newer version to have more eye-candies'. Just for fun, go search about memory leak for MS version of winsock. The bug has been around for ages. Yes, please also find out what winsock does while you are at it - it is not sexy; but your internet experience depends on it.
        • You must be joking.

          XP was released...what..2001? It will receive full security support unitl at least 2014 and even beyong that there will be technical support available.

          Bugs are the nature of the beast with software and Apple's OS X and Linux based OSes have their share of them as well. They just don't make the blogs every time there is a flaw that allows the remote execution of code on your Ubuntu system via Firefox or whatever the case may be. It's a shame but this site makes headlines every month when MS rolls out it's patches. Since Vista and now with Windows 7 the patches are fewer and fewer.
          It took a long time to get away from the old model, which got the way it was due to it's meteoric rise and the thousands of software titles sold or freeware for Windows that did *not* follow the MS programming guidelines, which have always been available forced the company into making the default user an ADMIN up through XP.
          Now you nor anyone else is going to tell me that with hundreds of thousands of customers building all the way up to over 1 billion customers, that Microsoft was going to put out their OS and require people to learn how to run as a standard user due to the endless software titles that most of those users had installed.
          Microsoft was *way* too open about allowing developers to write any code they wanted to run on windows w/o an Apple like review of every title and retaining complete control over what software got on their system.
          If they had done that, Google would not exist today, Apple would have died off by now because MS could refuse to allow itunes for Windows to run on it's OS etc.
          Yeah right. The DOJ was pushed into bringing civil charges against the company as it is, let alone MS having full control over whose software could be loaded.
      • Seriously?

        So you're claiming that MS carefully laid out the patents in question, pointed to the code that infringed, but was then unable to determine who owned that code to properly sue them? *Seriously*?

        Let's take a look at some of your assertions:

        'It's hard to pin down an "owner" to open source...'

        First, it's trivial. We (large corporate IT) do this all the time as part of our due diligence before using an open source product (and we use a *lot* of open source product!). You check the header for each source file, which includes the copyright info (you *did* realize that open source is copyrighted, right?), and voila - the owner! "Hard"?!?

        Second, you can sue *distributors* for patent infringement as well. I suspect you can find the corporate offices for Red Hat, or Canonical, or IBM, or HP. GIYF. "Hard"?!?

        Microsoft hasn't sued significant open source players yet for one critical reason - they might lose. Instead, they're trying to finagle their camel's nose under the tent with broad cross-licensing deals that obliquely refer to possible Linux-related patents, in hopes of slowly building up enough momentum to openly extort - I mean, extract licensing fees - for software they can't own outright.

        Open source leaders have repeated asked Microsoft to specify what code violates which patents. They'll be happy to rewrite anything infringing. Microsoft has refused, because it makes such poor FUD to be open. *That's* reality.

        "a huge time consuming fiasco"

        Like the Microsoft-financed SCO attacks, perhaps? Great analogy!

        "It's like how MS software is pirated..."

        Bad analogy! No donut!

        No, it's *nothing* like how MS software is pirated. First, "piracy" is a copyright issue (totally separate body of law from patents). Second, these "pirates" wrote the freaking software from the ground up. Third, virtually every major corporation openly uses Linux at some level, but I've never seen any major corporation openly violate copyrights. Fourth, "piracy" is a pejorative term that poorly fits what those who violate copyright actually do - it just sounds much worse than "copyright infringing", and it's all about PR.

        "That's what makes open source a no go for many"

        You mean, like Microsoft? You are aware, I presume, that they have been *selling* Suse Linux for quite some time now under one of those murky cross-licensing deals of which Microsoft has become so fond of late. And that 73% of Fortune 500 companies have significant open source deployments?

        Now, are you *sure* you've thought about this subject enough to comment?
      • Who would be responsible?

        How about trying to catch the REAL "pirates"? Instead of hounding and harassing their customers to death. Don't that sound a little more reasonable?

        That's OK though. Just keep stomping on the customer's toes. One of these days there won't be any more customers. For Microsoft, that is. You can't cover up ALL their skulduggery.
        Ole Man
        • They are aiming for read copyright infringement. If you didn't steal..

          the software you have nothing to worry about now do you? You don't care anything about Apple's TPM chip to make sure OS X is installed, are you? Why, becaue they use BSD?
          So you support anyone that uses open source.
          well, congrats. you will love MS, they have many open source projects, like CRM cooking.

          Did you know that the open Darwin group disbanded in 2006 because they realized they were only being used by Steve Jobs as an Apple project testing ground and never given enough code nor the time of day by Apple when needed, to make open Darwin into an OS. The group finally had it and left. A new group took over but will soon find the same.
          Jobs uses anyone he can, esp. the open source world by feeding them Apple's hopes for the freeBSD or Darwin projects and whatever they do with it, Apple uses in their OS for free, but they withhold anything that would allow that open source OS to compete with OS X.
          You find that ok huh? Microsoft is building open source code for use by the world, not using open source communities to do it's dirty work then conveniently leavnig out all key modules of the project and keep them closed up.

          Why the hypocrisy? It's obvious to everyone.

          I'm sure that OP doesn't even think about "covering up" anything. People don't mind WGA. It's painless and unnoticable and it's gone from most of their apps now. That didn't make you happy?
          You are just a bitter sad sack who thrives on complaining. You must really enjoy life.
          • Why the hypocrisy? Good question!

            Why do you join Microsoft in such nefarious activities?

            How Microsoft conquered China

            Today Gates openly concedes that tolerating piracy turned out to be Microsoft's best long-term strategy. That's why Windows is used on an estimated 90% of China's 120 million PCs. "It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not," Gates says. "Are you kidding? You can get the real thing, and you get the same price." Indeed, in China's back alleys, Linux often costs more than Windows because it requires more disks. And Microsoft's own prices have dropped so low it now sells a $3 package of Windows and Office to students.

            Hypocrisy, thy name is Microsoft (and Zuny)
            Ole Man
          • Are you really that clueless?

            I suspect you are, but maybe it's propaganda.

            MS put years upon years of effort into protecting it's IP in China.

            Gates said that in retrospection, not as something Microsoft ever "tried" to do. You conveniently left out this part:

            <i>By 2001, Microsoft executives were coming to the conclusion that China's weak IP-enforcement laws meant its usual pricing strategies were doomed to fail. Gates argued at the time that while it was terrible that people in China pirated so much software, if they were going to pirate anybody's software he'd certainly prefer it be Microsoft's.
            Gates first went to China in 1992 and this was what was going on in 2001. *Nine* years later. He is musing that China's weak IP laws, something he could not change, turned out to be the best thing for MS in china.
            The author had one very troubling sentence, since it was China's "strategy" that allowed for piracy, MS was fighting and uphill battle.

            But then, as you also don't point out, they changed their tactics in China, which took more years on top of the 9 invested already with no results, and now there are government workers whose copies of Windows used to be pirated, that will begin to be paid for to Microsoft.

            Also, all companies who enter a counrty like China that is still 3rd world in many regions, have pricing and policies that are different from first world countries.

            You beat these old stories to death thinking nobody notices the truth of what actually happened and what was said??

            Oh, did you pick up on this one:

            <i>Robert Hormats, a longtime China watcher at Goldman Sachs: "It's a great turnaround story with wonderful lessons for other companies." </i>

            Keep trying sir, you and others with an agenda have to grasp at straws, perhaps you'll get one that doesn't bend and break one of these times.

            LOL LOL LOL!!!
  • No way!

    M$ and open source is an oxymoron.
    It is one or the other.
    Linux Geek
    • Microsoft Works

      is another oxymoron, can others think of more?
      • Microsoft Open Source

        The best one!
        Ole Man
      • Yeah, try Open source Ubuntu

        Of course it's not. wouldn't even be in the biz w/o proprietary drivers and other proprietary components.