back to article Born-again open-source enthusiast Microsoft rucks up at OpenChain

Microsoft has continued to buff its open-source halo by signing up to the OpenChain Project, which is aimed at simplifying the plethora of licences floating around the open-source community. OpenChain (not to be confused with the open-source distributed ledger technology Openchain) is a Linux Foundation Project and lays claim …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    No doubt Microsoft is playing the long game, but which one is it?

    1. Spoonsinger

      Re: but which one is it

      Cribbage - so they can shout out "and one for his nob!" during meetings with whatever committee or group they are infiltrating.

    2. Claverhouse Bronze badge

      Re: Hmmm

      I do believe they are quite sincere.

      However, as in 19th century comic stories, the wary minister rejoicing in the drink-sodden old thief who is saved, takes good care not to let him near the key to the communion wine.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      "playing the long game"

      One of those long games, in the past, has been 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish'.

      Based on their track record, I'd say this is still the case.

  2. Adair

    In the world of FLOSS...

    if 'licensing' creates and protects 'freedom' to use and develop and to share that is to be applauded and supported.

    If 'licensing' restricts freedom and places power in the hands of those who have money then it is just a backdoor to the same old story of monetisation and parasitism of the 'user'. 'Open source' is not by default the same as 'FLOSS', although the this often seems to be assumed - it all comes down to the licensing, and the devil, as they say, is there - in the detail, and in the actual practice and ability to enforce the license.

    MS may well have decided to play straight in this area as they benefit from doing so, but as always it's actions that reveal the truth.

    In another life I used to have to pay an annual fee for a music usage 'licence'. Fair enough, it helped composers earn a living. What was not so fair was the the publishing house's practice of taking songs/music that were out of copyright, altering them very slightly, and then claiming fees on the strength a new copyright that could not be avoided if the user was obliged to use the material - which we generally were.

    Scummy behaviour which obeyed the letter of the law, but completely mocked the spirit of it.

    In the end 'money-grubbers' are as money-grubbers do and MS have plenty of such people driving corporate behaviour. We shall see.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'm trying to get my head round project that aims to simplify things and has a name identical to some other project except for adopting CamelCase. Is the object that things can be simplified by calling everything names that matchf [Oo][Pp][Ee][Nn][Cc][Hh][Aa][Ii][Nn]?

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Details, man. Look at the Big Picture instead!

      To be fair, the name appears to come from the Linux Foundation. So in a comments thread that's mostly bitching about Microsoft[1], your comment should perhaps be caveated as different.

      [1] ... and a lot of it still looking at the utterly evil corporation MS was 20 years ago, rather than the reformed MS of today.

  4. bombastic bob Silver badge

    utterly evil corporation MS was 20 years ago

    (a shoutout topic to Nick Kew's post)

    You don't have to go back 20 years for Microsoft to have done things that are 'utterly evil'. Look at what has been done to Windows. That was less than 5 years ago.

    Sinofsky and Larson-Greene aren't there any more, and Ballmer isn't the CEO, but that doesn't change them. A new breed of arrogant "you will do it THIS way" types are STILL managing things, as evidenced by the fact that Windows 10 still has:

    a) 2D FLATTY McFLATFACE FLATSO *FORCED* upon you, with NO user choice

    b) Adware and Spyware built into the OS

    c) Pay-to-play device driver signing ONLY

    d) FORCED updates [complete with feature creep and NO QA], where YOUR BANDWIDTH belongs to THEM

    e) NO other Windows OS available on new computers

    f) Microsoft "cloudy" logon, to HELP TRACK YOU, EVERYWHERE

    g) The [CR]app store UBER ALLES

    h) NO listening to customer complaints and wants; they just listen to the 'yes' echos of the fanbois...

    Yeah. They're still UTTERLY EVIL. The customer is NO LONGER "always right". It's "the minions are ALWAYS EXPLOITED".

    But I think they were LESS EVIL 20 years ago. It used to be 'developers developers' back then... and it was just under 20 years ago that they came up with the ".Net Initiative" and it was at THAT point that they turned to the *DARK* *SIDE* of *WORLD* *DOMINATION*.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: utterly evil corporation MS was 20 years ago

      You may have a point. But noone forces you to use windoze 10: indeed, I haven't used any windoze since about 2000.

      What I meant with Utterly Evil was their actions that blighted the 'net as a whole, not just their own users. As in, breaking MIME, thus releasing the first wave of email viruses (Melissa, Lovebug) on their own users, but also breaking standards-compliant systems and stifling innovation on the 'net.

      One casualty of that was my own web-based office software (think google docs for the idea), that relied on MIME standards and broke in MSIE. Mail-by-web where MSIE would do its own random thing with attachments, and miscellaneous documents that MSIE might try to load in $random-app.

  5. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Re: "Trust is key to open source..."

    Turkeys used to vote for Christmas until they realised they had misheard the word "truss".

  6. oldcoder

    is that "buff" a typeo?

    Or should "Microsoft has continued to buff its open-source halo..."


    "Microsoft has continued to bluff its open-source halo..."


  7. mickychip

    Only time will tell if M$ are doing the right thing by it's users when it sticks it fingers in the open source pie for that Oh So Good Feeling!

  8. sprograms

    Isn't it true that MS's immediate game is the Cloud client space? Doesn't working on the open licensing verification project lead to a big stack they can rely upon without fear of lawsuits, bringing in the market of government "must use open source," and without large costs, as a customer option in Azure? In the end MS needs another rock besides Windows upon which it can base a next killer corporate app. OS can be that rock, with the added grace that customers only have to pay for that next very-useful-trap: "Look, it requires only a bunch of open-source stuff...on which you also run many of your other apps....together with our new!" A broader product range covering a very large number of potential not a foolish thing.

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