/>
X
Innovation

Codeplex the measure of Microsoft open source street cred

The CodePlex audience is still skewed toward Microsoft licenses, and is far from representative of the whole open source movement.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Microsoft is trumpeting the success of its three year old CodePlex open source site, noting it now has over 10,000 projects and counting.

I agree that CodePlex is a fair way to measure the credibility Microsoft has with open source developers, or its "street cred."

But one can also have different views on the same numbers.

For example, as my friend Roberto Galopppini noted yesterday, Google has become home to 80,000 projects in half the time CodePlex has been open. Numbers don't just live in abstract isolation. They can be compared, apples-to-apples, and so Google's street cred looks pretty good.

It can also be useful to look at Microsoft's own statistics and ask, how mainstream is CodePlex? The picture above, from Microsoft, tells that story.

It's a pie chart showing the popularity of various licenses within CodePlex. The big wedge of blue represents the share held by Microsoft's MS-PL license, and it's about 36% of the total. The smaller red wedge below it is the share of GPLv2, about 20%. The light blue wedge to the left is the share held by LGPL, about 6.7%.

This is interesting. A fifth of the projects at Microsoft's own CodePlex site are GPLv2. But compare that to the general market, as Black Duck did recently (however accurately). In the general market 65% of projects are GPLv2, and that's somewhat down recently in part because of the efforts at CodePlex.

In other words, the CodePlex audience is still skewed toward Microsoft licenses, and is far from representative of the whole open source movement.

Why does this matter? Let's use a political analogy. The same arguments are used against any small political movement, the idea that it's unrepresentative of the people as a whole. Whether you're talking about Howard Dean on the left or the Ron Paul troops on the right, such statistics are proof you're out of the mainstream.

If Microsoft is evolving toward being an "open core" open source supplier, with open code at the center and proprietary extensions, that evolution still has far to go.

But it has begun. The Microsoft teabag has hit the water. How big a splash it makes has yet to be determined.

Editorial standards

Related

Southwest, United, and American Airlines have a new enemy -- the internet's ugliest site
Airplane wing in flight

Southwest, United, and American Airlines have a new enemy -- the internet's ugliest site

You can use an AI Time Machine to see what you'd look like in different eras throughout history
Photo renderings of a woman throughout different decades using AI Time Machine

You can use an AI Time Machine to see what you'd look like in different eras throughout history

Garmin's new Index BPM is the blood pressure monitor that I've been waiting for
garmin-index-bpm-lifestyle

Garmin's new Index BPM is the blood pressure monitor that I've been waiting for