back to article Microsoft absorbs open-source internal startup MS Open Technology

In what would once have been thought of as an Ominous SignTM, Microsoft has decided it's time for the MS Open Technologies “startup subsidiary” to be absorbed back into Redmond proper. Rather than being ominous, the move seems encouraging, with Microsoft promising to set up a new open source program office in Redmond proper, …

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Boffin

Spawn...

"Microsoft has decided it can get into bed with open source technology without needing a chaperone."

Imagine the offspring...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spawn...

Imagine the offspring...

Open Source projects that are bloated, impossible to secure and don't work?

It'll be a cold day in Hell before I forget their track record.

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Re: Spawn...

It'll be a cold day in Hell before I forget their track record.

Yes, it's always wise to base today's decisions on data from 20 years ago.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go back to my study notes - I'm leaning how to do calendar calculations in COBOL. There's enormous demand for it, what with the big Y2K problems coming up...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spawn...

Yes, it's always wise to base today's decisions on data from 20 years ago

Microsoft submitted initial material to Ecma International Technical Committee TC45, where it was standardized to become ECMA-376, approved in December 2006. Now that was just the "we control this club anyway" ECMA approval, the rather nefarious activities inside ISO took even longer than that. That's clearly not 20 years ago, and it's part of a long and very consistent pattern, one that didn't change when Ballmer took over. I prefer to remain cautious - I've seen this too often to believe it.

I'm leaning how to do calendar calculations in COBOL

I'll be nice and won't say the obvious then :)

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Re: Spawn...

"Imagine the offspring..."

Small and fluffy?

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Re: Spawn...

Yes, we all know what a clusterfuck the Office OpenXML specs are, but the good news is that those specs are open for revision. I know, I've the somewhat dubious honour of having submitted the most bug reports on them in the last year. This brings little immediate relief but as long as they remain the document formats of choice, I think it's important that we have some say in them.

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Anonymous Coward

@Charlie Clark - Re: Spawn...

Erm, choice ? Where is that ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spawn...

Ah, I see you've used OpenSSL! Oh wait...

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Don't mention Linux

I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Not needed with the future direction ?

The direction Microsoft are currently heading is for them to have most core applications running on their servers, your data stored on their OneDrive. And instead of people paying for an full blown OS on their own devices, for Microsoft to control everything that is allowed to run on the hardware and in an ideal world a yearly subscription based model.

With this direction, why do they need a independent subsection that focuses on open source ?

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Re: Not needed with the future direction ?

>>"The direction Microsoft are currently heading is for them to have most core applications running on their servers, your data stored on their OneDrive. And instead of people paying for an full blown OS on their own devices, for Microsoft to control everything."

Yet another thing the bastards have stolen from Google! >:(

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Childcatcher

For some reason this news made me think of the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I wonder why.

Maybe it's the idea of a pretty looking gift being offered and when anyone takes up the offer Bang, straight into the cage.

A long spoon may be called for here.

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Anonymous Coward

The day MS fully open sources Windows is the day I buy Bill Gates a beer.

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I think we've already bought him a considerable amount of beers over the years...

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Anonymous Coward

@AB

It will be a 1/2 a mild

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Anonymous Coward

I'd settle for supporting ODF without any funny games.

A company that sees nothing wrong in destroying the impartiality of the ISO institute to get its own way is not one I'm prepared to trust - there is too long a track record of cosying up to competition with the explicit aim to get rid of it.

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Except that ODF isn't actually very good. OOXML isn't much better - the differences are marginal in my opinion - but there's a very slight readability improvement over ODF.

Lobbying to standardize on a standard you know over one you don't doesn't seem too weird.

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Anonymous Coward

Except that ODF isn't actually very good. OOXML isn't much better - the differences are marginal in my opinion - but there's a very slight readability improvement over ODF.

My experience is the total opposite (and was one of the drivers for UK's Cabinet Office to recommend it as a standard over OOXML), so I'm not quite sure where you got your data from. The reason it's better is because it had time to reach maturity, and its development process is truly open rather than MSOOXML which is such a mess that no sane company will ever go near it.

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Times they are a'changing(maybe)

"There's free software and then there’s open source,then there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with. It creates a license so that nobody can ever improve the software"

Bill Gates

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Re: Times they are a'changing(maybe)

That was Ballmer, wasn't it?

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Re: Times they are a'changing(maybe)

All quotes on the Internet ultimately evolve to the point where they are attributed to either Wilde, Einstein or Bill Gates. Or if to do with American politics, Benjamin Franklin.

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Joke

Re: Times they are a'changing(maybe)

"All quotes on the Internet ultimately evolve to the point where they are attributed to either Wilde, Einstein or Bill Gates. Or if to do with American politics, Benjamin Franklin." - Mark Twain.

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Re: Times they are a'changing(maybe)

"All quotes on the Internet ultimately evolve to the point where they are attributed to either Wilde, Einstein or Bill Gates. Or if to do with American politics, Benjamin Franklin." - Gandhi

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Anonymous Coward

In case you, people, didn't notice

there is no free (as in freedom) software on locked-down hardware.

Microsoft could very well release all their stuff under GPL and UEFI SecureBoot would still allow them to laugh at us, remain in control and deny all end-user digital freedoms that were intended by FOSS licenses. Yes, you could read and improve their code but what are you going to do with it ? Where are you going to run it ? You will be able to see all the phone-home spyware and DRM code that you could disable with one single line of code, but don't even bother dreaming Microsoft will digitally sign your code to pass beyond the only proprietary piece of code that will remain, the boot-loader. And Microsoft is not alone in this, they're only doing what Google and Apple and others have been doing for a long time.

GPL and BSD are no longer relevant but not in the way we were thinking.

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Anybody using or accepting code from them needs to be careful. If the license is not purchased, there's no legal contract, and they can revoke it at any time. I forsee a tactic of "spread out, write code for lots of open source projects, and once it's thoroughly in use tell them they have thirty days to pay us for it or stop using it."

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