Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Software

Does Microsoft Have the Best App Store For Open Source Developers? 339

Posted by timothy
from the so-how-does-that-beat-android? dept.
WebMink writes "Microsoft seems to have been in combat against the GNU GPL throughout the history of free and open source software. But that may be changing. They have recently updated the terms of use for software developers in their Windows Phone app store to allow any OSI-approved open source license — even the GPL. They include extraordinarily broad language that gives the open source license priority over their own license terms, saying: 'If your Application or In-App Product includes FOSS, your license terms may conflict with the limitations set forth in Section 3 of the Standard Application License Terms, but only to the extent required by the FOSS that you use.' Could it be that the most open source friendly app stores will be the ones run my Microsoft?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Does Microsoft Have the Best App Store For Open Source Developers?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:30AM (#42699993)

    They want all the FOSS stuff first to have the first crack at stealing your code. That's what they've always been good at

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:37AM (#42700021)

    I personally would never code open source software for Microsoft APP store to benefit... #deathtowidowsphone #longliveandroid

  • No. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:40AM (#42700039)

    No, it does not.

  • No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EzInKy (115248) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:47AM (#42700065)

    Microsoft is about their bottom line, plain and simple. Even if open sourcing something today is profitable, they would not hesitate to close it tomorrow if it hurts profits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:48AM (#42700075)

    Apples entire software ecosystem rides on top of free and open source software. There aren't enough superlatives to describe the hight of their hypocrisy. Come on Apple, stop the the stupid bullshit. Your business was rescued from the trash bin of history by your decision to refactor your entire operating system strategy around open source components. The very genesis of Apple was the result of communal sharing of information. Now you stiff arm the very same developers who made your success possible. There is no excuse for this.

  • by andydread (758754) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:55AM (#42700097)
    Ms has always tried to get popular FOSS applications running decent on their platform in a futile attempt to negate the need to run GNU/Linux for those said apps. Then when Linux became the killer app Ms went out of their way [microsoft.com] to accomodate Linux on their hyper-v system. This is not because they want Linux or FOSS around in the marketplace. They know that if they do not accomodate FOSS their system will become more and more marginalized by emerging tech.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:57AM (#42700107) Homepage

    Let's look at the bigger picture...

    1) Windows 7 is arguably the best desktop OS out there right now for the vast majority of the public. Even many of the Apple fans I know, myself included, have been forced to concede that Windows 7 is better than OS X in many ways.
    2) Microsoft has started to really become an advocate for open standards to the point of throwing IE 9 under the bus and repeatedly rolling the bus over it in front of their customers.
    3) Microsoft's tools produce standards compliant web output.
    4) Microsoft has officially incorporated jQuery into their web process and extended it in an open way to make it really work with Visual Studio.
    5) Microsoft has never once threatened Mono or any open source .NET effort even as the Java world was nearly torn apart recently.
    6) Microsoft has spent the last decade really ramping up their security efforts in what amounts to a "come to Jesus experience" on security.
    7) Microsoft is starting to allow their own products like ASP.NET MVC to go FOSS.

    I give them credit as a former Microsoft-hated, Apple-loving Java/JavaScript/Groovy/Ruby developer. This isn't Bill Gates' Microsoft. It's actually a damn shame that it's not Steven Sinofsky's Microsoft because that might have played a truly dangerous stalking horse to Tim Cook's Apple.

  • by EzInKy (115248) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:03AM (#42700139)

    Provide a list of companies that shows more of them succeded by partnering with Microsoft than failed and I'll consider admitting to short-sightedness. Nokia doing away with all but MS based phones is the most blatent result of doing deals with Microsoft.

  • by CdBee (742846) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:05AM (#42700149)
    This is desperation in action, in a market where they arent a leader and probably never will be
  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:06AM (#42700151)

    They want all the FOSS stuff first to have the first crack at stealing your code. That's what they've always been good at

    Stealing FOSS code? What does that even mean?

  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:09AM (#42700169)

    I personally would never code open source software for Microsoft APP store to benefit... #deathtowidowsphone #longliveandroid

    Microsoft has published some of its software as open source, including their F# compiler and several .NET libraries like Entity Framework and ASP.NET MVC. They have also contributed to the Linux kernel.

    Microsft and Open Soure clearly mix; what could be said is that Microsoft is not (yet) open source first.

  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:15AM (#42700195)
    I see what you mean but don't really buy it. Stealing implies that you don't keep your copy. You still do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:19AM (#42700211)

    I'm sick and tired of people applauding Internet Explorers incredible changes. Yes, it's good! So what! The only reason that happened, is because Firefox and Chrome were forcing it off the market and into extinction. Years and tonnes of money later it's good, but still barely competing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:23AM (#42700239)

    They have also contributed to the Linux kernel.

    That's a bit deceptive. Microsoft contributed code needed for its VMs to host Linux, nothing more.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:50AM (#42700369)

    1) Windows 7 is arguably the best desktop OS out there right now for the vast majority of the public. Even many of the Apple fans I know, myself included, have been forced to concede that Windows 7 is better than OS X in many ways.

    Lurpak is arguable the best butter out there right now for the vast majority of the public. Even many of the butter fans I know, myself included, have been forced to concede that Lurpak is better than Kerrygold in many ways.

    Windows 7 is indeed a great release. It's good enough to finally move me and a lot of people from XP. Is it the best desktop OS? That's highly debatable, and would be more useful to say that Windows 7 is best for x use, while Mac OS X (or any OS) is better for x. Your willingness to speak for the majority is commendable, and I wish you luck at the upcoming Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea, supreme leader.

    On the other points; yes, this isn't the Microsoft of old. The very public embrace of FOSS is a relatively new phenomenon (and yes, I know they've been contributing code for quite some time now). Microsoft are doing it for the same reason I see Apple doing it - it makes business sense. Microsoft is no-longer able to steamroll standards through by becoming the de-facto standard. You remember back in the 90s when sites commonly had those "requires (or optimised for) x browser" badges? That's all but gone away, and modern sites largely render just fine except in niche browsers.

    Even in the areas where they maintain a monoculture, legal pressures prevent them from exploiting it as they would have back in the day. While .Net has seen some adoption, it lags way behind Java. It's in Microsoft's interests to allow Mono to proceed, and is indeed a good thing that in 2009 they announced that they wouldn't pursue patents in that area (only five years after Mono first appeared).

    I too give them credit for making some smart moves to grow their business and avoid antitrust issues. It's not as if either Microsoft or Apple execs one day wandered in to a board meeting and suggested FOSS and open standards because it's the morally best and spurs innovation.

  • Re:BSD License (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geek (5680) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:56AM (#42700401)

    Apple doesn't hide the BSD code. They freely distribute it as Darwin, which is OSS and freely available. Its the entire under system of the OS. Apple has contributed a great deal to OSS over the years. There is no "blame" for using a license that freely allows them to do what they need to do. The GPLv3 is a non starter in the enterprise world.

    Not everyone is a basement dweller like RMS. Some people have lives and families to feed.

  • by Dave Emami (237460) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @11:06AM (#42700451) Homepage

    They have also contributed to the Linux kernel.

    That's a bit deceptive. Microsoft contributed code needed for its VMs to host Linux, nothing more.

    If they contributed, they contributed. Does it matter that they did so because there is a demand for their VMs to run Linux, rather than out of the goodness of their hearts? One of the benefits of having something be open source is that numerous different parties can fix bugs or add functionality that may (per consensus) improve the project, but which only one party has the time, knowledge, and motivation for. For folks other than the project's core developers, that motivation will often be "I need it to do X" not "I want to help everyone who uses this and promote open source software."

  • by worldthinker (536300) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @11:14AM (#42700483)

    Sorry, but you deal with Microsoft at your peril. It is in their DNA to "steal", misappropriate,, strong arm, and every other dirty trick to disadvantage technical partners and they do it to this day. Ask Nokia how they feel about their business prospects. Or the legions of companies that have experienced the same rapacious partnerships.

    Ask HP how they feel about MS potentially buying Dell?

    Oh, and lest we forget, the legal suits against Linux are still winding their way through the courts and it was MS chief in the background backing those suits.

    I am in agreement with Admiral Akbar.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @11:16AM (#42700497) Homepage Journal

    Nope. A select few started using that word "steal, in relation to copyright infringement. A very select few. It's not a "language evolves" thing at all. It was a deliberate form of indoctrination. Non-savvy people read news articles about "stealing music", and they believed that nonsense.

    The indoctrination continues. I refuse to be indoctrinated, thank you very much.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @11:24AM (#42700541)

    I have yet to find any useful app in the Microsoft app store. Microsoft is probably desperate to get anything in there.

    But they can change their TOS at the drop of a hat, so just because they may be "open source friendly" right now doesn't mean that they won't become quite open source unfriendly again when their app store picks up.

  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @11:46AM (#42700631)

    They contributed code that only benefitted their product.

    Nothing wrong with that.

  • Re:No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @11:50AM (#42700647) Homepage
    So you cannot fathom how the Windows monopoly on 90+% of all PCs sold for the last couple of decades may have provided them a steady revenue source?

    So what are you saying? The Microsoft has been resting on its laurels and doing no long term planning, due to its domination of the desktop OS market? If that were the case, how have they maintained said "monopoly" while successfully expanding into other businesses? Their continued growth is due to short term profit taking? I don't think that any rational person could argue that to be true in any way, whatsoever. It sounds to me like you're just regurgitating the classic childish Microsoft hate, while not making any attempt to reconcile what you're saying with reality.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26, 2013 @12:33PM (#42700855)

    If you're doing all those things on a day-to-day basis, you're doing it wrong. Badly wrong.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @01:10PM (#42701039) Journal

    If they contributed, they contributed. Does it matter that they did so because there is a demand for their VMs to run Linux, rather than out of the goodness of their hearts?

    Actually, the why may not matter, but the fact is that the code they contributed did not really improve Linux, it just allowed Linux to run under Microsoft's closed-source Hyper-V. The code was aimed at improving Microsoft's own platform, not Linux.

  • Aptitude/Yum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RedHackTea (2779623) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @02:00PM (#42701429)
    I'm pretty sure that Linux Distros' Package Management Systems are the best "App Stores" for FOSS developers, or is that just me?
  • by davydagger (2566757) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @02:36PM (#42701759)
    agreed.

    So why did swat teams descend on Kim Dotcom's house, and why did the federal government take down the site with all our phone modding ROMs
  • by Subjective (532342) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @03:38PM (#42702417)

    To steal yourself away is to deny yourself from the current location
    When you steal a kiss, you deny someone else that kiss
    When you steal a look, you're looking at something before others do.
    When you steal an idea, you gain its advantages before the original creator

    There never were other meanings to 'steal'

    A woman has stolen my heart. Now my heart is not mine to command any more

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @05:08PM (#42703127)

    They based their engine on top of free software, despite that they didn't have to.

    If you think Apple had the capability of whipping up a working HTML engine from scratch and bring it to market in the time they needed, you're extremely naive. Apple has very limited and focused software development capabilities, and they certainly had nobody capable of creating a browser engine from scratch. They usually deal with this by buying up some company, but there are so few good independent browser makers that they didn't even have that option.

    What's offensive is that you portray Apple as some kind of open source hero. Jobs tried to rip off gcc and they tried to force the KHTML team to sign non-disclosure agreements over bug reports, and had a major falling out. That's on top of their generally offensive behaviors, like their look-and-feel lawsuits and their ridiculous patents. Apple has been a far greater bully and threat to open source than Microsoft.

  • by _xeno_ (155264) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @07:08PM (#42703913) Homepage Journal

    "You know that feature you've been using for years and you said it's what makes Macs better, Windows does that now, too. So, see, Windows doesn't suck."

    Right click.

    Also true preemptive multitasking and virtual memory.

If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only four tellers?

Working...