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Microsoft supports punk'd open source

If your open source company is willing to admit Microsoft owns Linux, acknowledge the legitimacy of its proprietary standards, and put "whatever Microsoft wants" at the center of all your business plans, then Microsoft will let you live in its world.

Oh sure. Microsoft loves open source.

If your open source company is willing to admit Microsoft owns Linux, acknowledge the legitimacy of its proprietary standards, and put "whatever Microsoft wants" at the center of all your business plans, then Microsoft will let you live in its world.

For now. No promise they won't sue you later though.

I'm sorry but that's the kind of support open source can do without. That's right out of Ashton Kutcher's MTV show, Punk'd. As in open source, you've been punk'd. Love, Steve, Bob and all the gang in Redmond.

Now, times are hard. Very hard. Many of the things open source entrepreneurs obsessed over even a few months ago may now be seen as luxuries that must be got rid of. Anything leading to legal trouble with Big Green is included in that.

But to swallow Bob Muglia's malarky whole? Well, maybe if you need to eat you'll swallow anything. Me, I'm not willing to say 2+2=5. Yet.

Microsoft may deign to let its customers use some products in the open source universe. It may be more tolerant of open source generally. But it is still a proprietary software company. It sells code, not support. Its lawyers will still come down on you like a ton of bricks.

Muglia's comments at the Stanford Accel Symposium were designed to create some detente with open source in general, but detente is not peace. I lived through the Cold War. I know the difference.

Maybe we need some sort of open source Ronald Reagan to go up to Redmond, look at Microsoft's hidden code base in the eye, and thunder "Mr. Muglia, tear down this wall!"

That day will have to wait until we can all afford it.