Microsoft was awarded an official Open Source Initiative (OSI) approval for the two Shared Source licenses it submitted for consideration in August -- but not without agreeing to some OSI-requested changes first.did not submit its Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL) for OSI consideration.
There was considerable push-back from a number of open-source backers, especially around the Microsoft Permissive License, when Microsoft submitted two of its three Shared Source licenses for OSI standards consideration. While some open-source backers welcomed Microsoft to the party, others wondered aloud about Microsoft's reasons for seeking OSI approval now.
"I personally enjoyed hearing the wide diversity of opinions from the community, including the legal professionals who weighed in on the discussion," blogged Rosenberg on October 16.
Rosenberg noted that Microsoft altered the names of its licenses at the open-source community's request and is working on clarifying its language around Shared Source/open source terminology. Rosenberg explained:
"During the discussion period, we were pleased to respond to the communities requests for additional clarity in the licenses by renaming them to the Microsoft Public License and the Microsoft Reciprocal License. In the process of the license discussion, we also heard additional calls for more clarity in our communication regarding the wide range of Shared Source licensing options available from Microsoft. Some Shared Source licenses clearly meet the open source definition and others do not. In the future, we will continue to solicit feedback from the community to ensure crisp delineation of these different license types on our website."
What changes, now that Microsoft has gotten the OSI stamp of approval? According to a company spokeswoman:
What do you expect Microsoft to do with its OSI-approved licenses? Rosenberg said folks shoudl expect to see "a lot of great code come out under these two open source licenses and we are happy to be able to call them, 'OSI Approved.'"
Do you anticipate Microsoft will push to have more of its technologies and products released under these new licenses, so that the company will have a greater chance of them being considered "open standards" when submitting technologies for government/RFP consideration? Other thoughts?