Re: I realise this is totally childish, but ....
would it be possible to modify the GPL, etc, so that Microsoft was not allowed to use the code?
In theory, given enough lawyers & someone killing off Richard Stallman, I suppose it might be possible. The problem as I see it, though, is that the GPL and other software licenses are about giving you freedom to the code. By denying a specific entity the right to the code, you're driving a horse and cart through that core tenant of free/open source software.
Assuming all software license switch to anti-Microsoft versions, you then start to get some interesting questions:
- What about products that MS buys in that have GPL/BSD/whatever code in them? Cisco are big users of open source software, and I'd be surprised if there's no Cisco kit at Microsoft. Even my TV came with a copy of the GPL! Would Microsoft be allowed to own or use those products?
- This would certainly kill Microsoft doing any work on Android or Apple devices.
- What about the work Microsoft put in working with open source developers (e.g. SAMBA) ?
- What about a Microsoft employee at home? With modern working practises, the line between "at work" and "not at work" is very blurred.