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Re: [ossig] FW: [bytesforall_readers] FSFE: Early comment on new Microsoft Shared Source Licenses

On 21 Oct 2005 at 15:42, Fouad Riaz Bajwa wrote:

> Looking forward to everyone's comments on the attached message below

This brings to mind a discussion we had some time ago when the possibility 
of MS making MS-Windows open source came up and some some people did 
venture to say that it is not that un-thinkable for that to happen if the 
environment and business conditions call for that as MS will still be able 
to make money from its other software, services, content etc.  In fact if  
MS-Windows was made open probably even more people will use it and with 
this MS will stand to gain in the sales of the rest of the proprietary 
software it still has as well as the multimedia, messaging and content 
services built around the MS-Windows technology environment.

Of course coming up with some free software licenses does not really mean 
anything except that it acknowledges that FOSS is desirable in some 
environments and that the demand for it cannot be ignored anymore.  What 
really matters is the software that will be released under these MS 
licenses - will they be just some fairly inconsequential ones just to 
enable MS to stand up and say "yes btw we do FOSS too" or will some really 
significant technologies and software be opened up?

My view is that for the time being MS will be pursuing a two-pronged 
strategy, firstly to aggressively push its proprietary software products 
as promoting and conforming to open standards (their definition of it) and 
therefore is open enough for govt and corporations to use and so they 
should not discriminate against proprietary software.  Secondly, by 
testing the waters with some software being released as FOSS they are 
preparing themselves to cope in a more FOSS centric environment if and 
when that should happen.

Soo Hoe

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