Re: @David W. - I'll make it easier for you
Words are being put in my mouth.
I said nothing of the value of free software, or of whether MS makes free software, etc.
My points above stand - as a business, you're as well advised to release source for your proprietary software as you are to release engineering drawings for your hardware.
I have a small business manufacturing hardware. Its software is incredibly important - and there are already people out there doing (somewhat incompetent) copies of our hardware. Why on earth would we release the source to our software and lower to zero the barrier for someone wanting to add its functionality to his hardware ripoff?
It would be madness to just give away something that would help the people who are trying to put me out of business. No amount of 'community development' - which would not occur with a super low volume product anyway - could offset the cost of our competition seeing what we're doing, how we're doing it, and being able to implement it, with near-zero effort, while avoiding doing any development themselves.
Look, guys, I get that the idea of free software itself is good. But advocating for a company - particularly a public company - to throw itself across the railroad tracks in the name of principle is just not gonna happen.
Finding ways to run your own stuff on the device is cool, but getting self-righteous when the device maker won't give you the keys to the kingdom just isn't reasonable. Google, Nokia, Apple, my company, and every other company in the world are not morally obligated to give away the things we create. Our entire purpose is to sell the things we create in order to make money, either for shareholders (Google) or to feed our preschoolers (Me).
It's frustrating that people see that I disagree with certain aspects of the way the FS community behaves, and assume that means I'm all for wrapping peoples' computers up with duct tape and sending people to prison for a thousand years for having a copy of gcc. Don't make assumptions about my other positions because they correlate with a rough version of my initial position. Not only is it not nice, but if you happen to say something that might change my mind, you've already shot your credibility to hell!
There are a few exceptions where there can be crossover between the two worlds, of course. But in general, flailing madly at Google and Apple because they don't just take their clothes off and say, "Tadaaaa, come and get it!" makes you look more like Don Quixote than George Washington.
(Oh, and I dug up the menu option to turn off autocorrect. But writing invective is fun, and life wouldn't be much fun if we took the boring way out, would it?)