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Microsoft Open Source Software

Microsoft Launches Its Own Open Source Foundation 344

Posted by timothy
from the said-the-spider-to-the-fly dept.
darthcamaro writes "Microsoft already had its own open source (OSI-approved) licenses, its own open source project hosting site and now it's adding its own non-profit open source foundation. That's right, the company that is still banging the patent drum against open source now has its own 501(c)(6) open source foundation. Officially called the CodePlex Foundation, it's a separate effort from the CodePlex site and is aimed at helping to get more commercial developers involved in open source. Considering how they continue to attack Linux and open source, will anyone take them seriously?"
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Microsoft Launches Its Own Open Source Foundation

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  • Why not? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10, 2009 @02:05PM (#29380891)
    The FSF attacks open source, and some people still take them seriously. So why not Microsoft?
  • Re:trap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DesertBlade (741219) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @02:27PM (#29381161)
    Apparently you haven't used it. It is now my daily user at work, while it is a million times better than Vista, I still would rather use my Ubuntu at home or even my wife's Mac. The cool visuals wear off after about 2 days, and the long load times, random hangs start to become more noticeable. While Ubuntu is not perfect, it is free. And the cost to upgrade my wife's mac to Snow Leopard was a reasonable $29 versus the nearly $200 for windows.
  • by MountainLogic (92466) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @02:34PM (#29381245) Homepage
    MS is tying up traffic in Seattle today to bring all of their people together in one of the city's sports stadiums. Anybody know if that is the usual monkey-boy chair toss or is something up?
  • Re:Jealousy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 10, 2009 @02:35PM (#29381257)

    Oh you naive windows fool. You think MS products are usually solid and just work??? When has a MS product EVER "just worked"? Name one case....exactly. And saying that Visual Studio is the "Best IDE" is really a large jump, Most widely used, yes, but the best? Hardly. How much does VS Team Suite cost for a site license, and how much is XCode? I'd much rather develop in XCode any day of the week.

    Visual Studio is big, bloated, slow, you name it. It's not even smart enough to generate a temporary intellisense file when I open up a code document, instead it'll only work if I have a project file open and the file I'm currently editing is currently in that project. And for some reason people seem to think that if you have VS that you have to use VSS...don't get me started on the pains of using VSS. Yet another example of how a free open source product beats the pants off of a MS product that they charge an arm and a leg for. SVN anybody?

  • Tools? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JSBiff (87824) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @02:44PM (#29381357) Journal

    I'm not sure, but my first inclination is that they probably want to encourage the development of Open Source software which is based upon Microsoft Technologies and Tools, so that such projects still require Windows to run, and maybe require Visual Studio, SQL Server, etc to build/implement/install?

    I'm sure Microsoft wouldn't be *too* upset about Open Source software which depends upon Microsoft's software to actually work or be built.

  • by malevolentjelly (1057140) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @02:50PM (#29381433) Journal

    Maybe they're trying to develop a functional open source movement within their development culture? After all, Microsoft sells a platform. The DOS free software movement was a boon to their platform, not a detraction.

    We're not looking at a war of ideas, we're looking at a basic platform war. Take Apple, for instance; they sell a high-end commercial platform which heavily leverages the open source ecosystem to augment and flesh-out their platform. Commercial software can be obnoxious, even to a platform vendor: it works against its platform, it puts branding over adherence to user experience, and it makes computer usage frustrating.

    If the Windows platform were viewed from the angle of its development community instead of as a vessel for shareware, then they might be able to preserve and further their platform against more open markets (even Apple) coming up against them.

    The full F/OSS stack (Linux-FOSS-and above) is a weak platform technically, but a strong idea. Microsoft doesn't have to give up the idea of a professionally maintained platform to leverage an open source third party software ecosystem. Better within their sphere of influence than outside of it. Microsoft is offering an extremely friendly and accessible development environment to its users already; it would be a boon to foster an influx of new platform-defining free applications that add value while not becoming an issue of anti-trust.

  • by mindbrane (1548037) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @02:55PM (#29381519) Journal

    People who develop and know how to use Linux are a different bred. They tend to be self reliant and innovative. Corporations like MS tend to naturally harbour fiefdoms around which barriers are effected that can stifle just the type of innovation Linux is driven by. The adage "faster nervous systems eat slower nervous systems" can apply where institutions allow barriers like glass ceilings to protect managers, the barriers erected can be seen as speed bumps and additional costs that Open Source skirts. Open Source may look haphazard in it's development but then so does evolution and both do OK in the long run.

    A lot of Open Source people use Linux and similar OSes because they need to be able to innovate on the spot and not go begging and pleading with Corporate masters for permission to alter a bit of code. Open Source, in my experience, is about innovation and extensibility. MS expected Linux to die of SIDS in its crib. It didn't. I now think MS sees the power and benefits of Open Source and is looking to undermine Linux by offering a similar environment to lure academics and scientists to a similar platform while mining their innovations.

    It's kinda like the serpent wants to take a bite out of the apple.

  • by natophonic (103088) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @03:05PM (#29381649)

    Even if you have the best ketchup in the world, you cant make your hamburger better if its all burned up, rotten and full of bugs and worms.

    Urg, remind me not to read your comments during lunch.

    Aside from shamelessly "borrowing" their "innovations" from other companies, and their strong-arm restraint-of-trade distribution tactics, Microsoft have always been the masters of "good enough." For any of the products Microsoft offers (Visual Studio included) there are several commercial competitors that are demonstrably better, but better in ways that customers don't care about or are unwilling to pay more for.

    To embrace and extend your hamburger analogy... over the weekend I had a really tasty burger at a restaurant. The waitress asked how I wanted the meat cooked, and it came out exactly right, the bun was toasted, the cheese melted perfectly, and the trimmings fresh and flavorful. And I paid $9.75 for this burger. For $9.75, I can feed my whole family at McDonalds.

    Over my years in the industry, I've seen a lot of bloated and unhappy IT departments that lacked energy and flexibility. And I've always advised them that Microsoft is but a part of a healthy IT budget, and to resist the temptation to super-size it.

    As for Microsoft's new-found love for open source, I'll treat it as skeptically as I do fast food joints' healthy salads.

  • Re:Coal.. Kettle? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Requiem18th (742389) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @03:59PM (#29382233)

    Since you have already been modded troll I shouldn't be feeding you but just this time.

    Yes they are obligated to maximize profit for their shareholders, to that goal, it makes no sense to release Windows or MS Office as FOSS, that's not what I want, nor what the majority of FOSS users want either. Except for the minority of loons that actually do want that, the majority of FOSS users and developers understand MS is under no obligation to release Windows or MS Office.

    Still we need a Free, Open Source operative system and office suite, a non hostile system that doesn't regards its users as thieves by default, An office suit that doesn't antagonize us, insert malicious secret codes in our documents, and OS that has the features we want, not the features someone else wants us to have and be limited to.

    So we make our own. No actions from MS are required. But MS has acted. Against us, every time they poison and flood an open standards forum, every time they bribe a politician who is considering going free, every time they they build intentional incompatibilities in their software, every time they scare clients with bogus patent threats, every time they come up with deceiving names to inject noise in the conversation, like .net, like officeopen instead of openoffice, like shared source instead of opens source, and now this fake open source foundation.

    That is what we are complaining about, we don't want them to release their products as FOSS, we just want them to stop playing dirty.

  • Re:Jealousy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @04:47PM (#29382777) Homepage

    "Even if they take the best ideas elsewhere, MS products are usually solid and just work."

    What M$ products have you been using? I just made money yesterday removing viruses and fixing numerous problems with a Vista machine that was just working the Microsoft way ;-)

  • by HitoGuy (1324613) on Thursday September 10, 2009 @04:56PM (#29382861)
    It's likely why we're infected by Mono. Get everyone onto .NET, then shut the door on them.
  • Believe it or not, there is a vast world of non-linux developers out tehre - people who have no interest in developing for linux - who actually are interested in building and using oSS Windows tools. People will take them seriously, and they'll meet with a fairly large amount of success amongst windows-only developers.
  • Re:trap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Thursday September 10, 2009 @09:59PM (#29385303) Journal

    Notice how I got modded down? That is the usual "response" I get from the Linux users instead of actually responding to my post. But unlike those that use modpoints instead of their voice, I actually respond to those that post.

    To respond to your post, yes I have had machines that have "stopped working" in my 15 years as a sales and repair guy, and you know what? A good 90%+ of the time the "fix" is simply re-installing the driver. Boom, no muss, no fuss, and MOST importantly-NO PAPERWEIGHTS! How is a retailer supposed to sell your product? How are we supposed to keep your product on our shelves? We don't have time to compile current lists of all the hardware being sold at the big three, and then spend countless hours trawling forums looking to find which 30% work, only to have to start all over again when more hardware comes through.

    What are the answers I get when I put this before the Linux community? I always get variations on three themes-Bundle, Support Contract, or "demand that they give their code to kernel developers", and here I will respond and shoot down every single one of those arguments and show why they do not work. 1.-Bundle-Unless your name is Michael Dell, bundling will break you. The big retailers will ALWAYS be able to undercut your price, and unlike what most Linux users think folks do NOT feel "privileged" to run Linux or any other OS. They are looking at price and features and bundling makes Windows the cheaper option, as I don't have to carry all this non PC gear just to sell a machine,strike 1.

    2.-support contracts. This little ditty is popular with corporate IT, who fail to understand that home sales are an ENTIRELY different animal than corporate IT. Home users HATE support contracts, see the Best Buy extended warranties for example. Again that pushes Linux into a more expensive bracket than Windows, as I will be spending more time trying to fix whatever problem they have with unsupported hardware than simply doing what I enjoy, building, fixing, and selling computers. Strike 2-

    3.-Finally there is the "demand they give their code to the kernel devs" crowd, which I hate to break the news to them, is so full of fail it isn't even funny. First of all, have you ever worked retail? The brands there are NOT the same brands being sold by corporate. The companies that have released code-IBM,Intel,HP,ATI-what do they have in common? All have a large patent warchest and interest in the server/HPC platforms. That is nothing at all like retail, not even close. Any lawyer with half a brain would advise against giving source, just look at how Facebook today had to hand out source to a patent troll. The risk of patent trolls is simply too high for a lousy 2% market. A market I might add that thanks to the RMS "source code or nothing!" brigade have made it VERY hard to write binary drivers for Linux that will even function past a single point release. It has been 15 years, if the companies were gonna release source for all the items at Walmart they would have done it by now. Strike 3 and your product is off the shelves!

    I apologize for the length, but I really do want this to change. I WANT to sell Linux, as I believe its superior security model makes it a better choice for those that simply surf and watch video. This would make for a nicer experience for the customers, and lower prices for me. But until they can actually go into Walmart and buy hardware without studying for a test, well I simply can't have it on my shelves. Because when an item doesn't work they will say their new machine is broken (which to them it is) and bring it back to me to fix it (which of course I can't without drivers) and then I have to either take the box back and eat the cost difference between new and used, or burn the customer and watch my rep going down the shitter.

    I'm sorry if this offends Linux users, but in 2009 this is just insanity. Printer drivers should NOT need to be in the fricking kernel to work! Hardware manufacturers SHOULD be able to put a "Linux 32/64" driver folder on

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