back to article 'Predator' Microsoft applies to give itself cancer

Microsoft realizes it has a schizophrenic relationship with open source software but can't seem to find any meds capable of correcting the situation. During a speech today at OSCON, Microsoft's open source chief Bill Hilf revealed that Microsoft will submit its Shared Source License to the Open Source Initiative (OSI) for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft open source?

    Of course, the big question is, is anyone ever going to use Microsoft's open source offerings?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another great example

    of how OSI projects are not sustainable in a real business world. Now that their licensing policies are starting to break down real business like MS and others are going to move in and make a sham of the already shady OSI commune. OSI has not been able to prove itself in a real business capacity and will now be consumed by proven businesses.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Another great example


  4. Richard

    Mahatma Gandhi

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

    So does this mean Open Source has won now?

    Okay maybe not just yet but it provides some proof that Microsoft may be moving to 'the end game' 8-)

  5. David

    It doesn't make sense.

    Microsoft and Open Source is like saying Good and Evil together.

    Let's be good and evil.

    It doesn't make sense does it?

  6. James

    A great example of ignorance, maybe

    [OSI projects are not sustainable in a real business world]

    Really? Microsoft caves and you describe that as an example of OSI's failure?

    So if the USA pulls out of Iraq, that's a sign of al Qaeda's failure?

    El Reg uses Apache servers (#1 server choice in the world by a substantial margin, BTW). So does,, YouTube,, CraigsList, NASA and most other commercial and non-commercial sites.

    OS isn't dead ... it just smells funny.

    (Was that enough flaming?)

  7. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    Re: Another great example

    The anonymous author is either a troll or a total imbecile if he/she actually believes what they wrote !

    But back to the story, more MS weasling with words here - yet another thing to embrace and corrupt. I dare say that when they get their approvals, they will make a big fuss about it and word things so as to make out that their "anything but shared shared source" offerings are actually approved as open !

  8. joe_bruin


    Amusingly enough, the stock photos on the MS open source page linked above are the same generic developer photos that appear in the Visual Studio 2005 installer. Who know the intended VS users are also open source enthusiasts?

  9. Antoinette Lacroix

    Get a grip

    I'm a long time BSD user, and know next to nothing about MS software.

    I don't like Linux and think GPL3 is crap . . . can one be more neutral ? :-D

    Microsoft offers code for their own platform, under their own license.

    In return, they get bug-ridden (maybe) software fixed for free, by the community.

    That's how open source works - making money is not forbidden.

    Do you really think open source developers live on thin air ?

    If Apple did the same, you'd all be over the moon with approval.

    And who says there's nothing to gain for *nix ?

    I bet at least the wine developers are more than interested.

    So calm down - nobody is forced to participate.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So wrong

    Antoinette, you are so wrong.

    Microsoft is not offering code for their own platform under their own license. You will not see any Windows code or any really useful code released under Microsoft Shared Source licenses. It will be possible but not without paying a fee. That is what varioius governments currently do under the Shared Source License, pay a fee to look at the Windows source code - and to do this they have to sign extremely strict NDA's.

    More than likely, there will be a few nuggets of Microsoft code in there, code written by Microsoft developers, but if it proves useful enough to make money off it you will not see it open sourced. Their managers will make damn sure of that.

    You wonder if there is something to gain for *nix? Well, Microsoft have been openly hostile to Linux, the GPL, Linux users/community for a long time now. With Microsofts history towards free software do you honestly believe they would put out a license that would help the free software world?

    If you would like proof about how Microsoft will do anything but help free software just look no further than the EU anti-trust trials. The server verdict was that Microsoft was to open up their protocols (not provide source) to aid in interoperability. Several years later, after many delays, they have still not done it. So Antoinette, why do you there will be something to gain for *nix again? Just opening up the protocols would help - but Microsoft knows that that would spell doom for their inept server platform.

    Maybe you could tell us how BSD has faired over Microsoft taking its code, quite legally of course? Has Microsoft ever submitted improvements or bug reports to the BSD community to help your software go forward? Or have they just taken your software?

    I suspect these licenses are just poison. I can't explain why I suspect this but it could just be because of Microsofts history. For one thing, if one of the licenses is just like BSD, why not license it under BSD instead of having their own license? Possibly because there could be a clause in there that allows Microsoft to benefit if they so choose. I don't know but we'll have to wait and see.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Microsoft Open Source is the equivalent to Military Intelligence.

    It just doesn't exist.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OSI projects are not sustainable in a real business world?

    Don't look now but most of the Internet itself is based on Open Source...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re; Lol

    Some more oxymorons: "Microsoft Works", "Windows Security" ...

    On a slightly more serious note, I wouldn't rule out using open source software from Microsoft in principle. They'd just have a hard time pushing it to me. At present the open source software I'm using serves my purposes (most importantly GNU/Linux, PostgreSQL, Apache, Emacs, GCC and Perl) and I'd need a good reason to add something new to the mix, open source or otherwise.

    If it's a case of redistribution-restricted, paid-for 'shared source' then I just don't think that from my point of view it's worth shoe-horning it in. Currently if I want to add a server to the mix I can throw an OS, database server, development tools, miscellaneous applications and anything else I need onto it without the added overhead of managing my license compliance. Introducing anything other than proper open source software into this setup would immediately incur all of the penalties of dealing with the proprietary software world, and it's worth far too much of me to be free of that overhead.

    I don't hate Microsoft and I'm not a 'fanboy' here - from a technical perspective I can see Linux's many drawbacks but they don't concern me as much as the drawbacks of using any of the alternative systems I've tried (note to BSD people: I haven't tried it but intend to dabble in the future!). I think Microsoft's software is perfectly all right within its limits, but it's just not really ready for the enterprise yet. You need a more stable, polished product for real work than for games and a bit of word processing. Vista might be fun for an enthusiast or hobbyist, but there's not really any place for it in the real world... :)

  14. Will Leamon

    Another great example - (again)

    I think this guy's attitude is knee-jerk response to the rather hardcore socialist attitudes Eben Moglen and the rest of GPL crowd like to throw around from time to time. But that's never stopped Open Source from making money.

    Sometimes I really wish the OS crowd would leave off the business-bashing stuff. I think it scares the hell out of CEOs more than Stevie Ballmer's childish tirades.

  15. Philip Cass

    Re: Lol

    >Microsoft Open Source is the equivalent to Military Intelligence.


    >It just doesn't exist


    I do wonder what OS/application stuff this will apply to, though.

  16. druck Silver badge

    Counter infection

    Microsoft are probably trying to infect open source projects with their own code. For example; release some code which supposedly helps interoperability with some Microsoft protocol, wait for some ill-advised coder to incorporate it in to a true open source project, wait a bit longer for some large corporations to start using it, then threaten them with a law suit over some supposed violation of the Microsoft licence, unless they immediately switch over the the Microsoft product.

  17. Alan Donaly

    Trying to make fantasy reality

    Fantasy MS has patents that can be enforced

    against OSS projects. Reality no such patents

    exist but if they open up some of their code

    maybe that will allow some infringment to take

    place either way it's just a bunch of crap I don't

    want anything they have they can give me the

    source it's not going to change that.All I want is

    for them to die.

  18. rob

    All I want is for them to die - HELL YEAH!

    But games developers, please, please make sure you port all of your nice games over from Direct X first!

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