Microsoft Embraces Open Source

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. Microsoft is building the Beowulf MPI parallel-processing code into its
    Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
    <http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1859439,00.asp>. Microsoft says it
    will give back fixes to the open-source community, and possibly also
    "changes" as well.

    Let's see the Microsoft apologists in this noisegroup suddenly discover
    that Open Source is wonderful after all...
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 17, 2005
    #1
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  2. On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 10:46:24 +1200, someone purporting to be Lawrence
    D'Oliveiro didst scrawl:

    > Microsoft is building the Beowulf MPI parallel-processing code into its
    > Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
    > <http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1859439,00.asp>. Microsoft says it
    > will give back fixes to the open-source community, and possibly also
    > "changes" as well.
    >
    > Let's see the Microsoft apologists in this noisegroup suddenly discover
    > that Open Source is wonderful after all...


    Every time I see someone saying that MS are "embracing" anything, I
    automatically tack "and extending" onto the end of it.
    If MS have finally caught onto the notion of truly open source and
    standards, it's about time. However, given their comments on the
    Massachusetts OpenDoc stand I don't think they've done anything of the
    sort.

    --
    Matthew Poole
    "Don't use force. Get a bigger hammer."
     
    Matthew Poole, Sep 18, 2005
    #2
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  3. In article <>,
    Matthew Poole <> wrote:

    >On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 10:46:24 +1200, someone purporting to be Lawrence
    >D'Oliveiro didst scrawl:
    >
    >> Microsoft is building the Beowulf MPI parallel-processing code into its
    >> Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
    >> <http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1859439,00.asp>. Microsoft says it
    >> will give back fixes to the open-source community, and possibly also
    >> "changes" as well.
    >>
    >> Let's see the Microsoft apologists in this noisegroup suddenly discover
    >> that Open Source is wonderful after all...

    >
    >Every time I see someone saying that MS are "embracing" anything, I
    >automatically tack "and extending" onto the end of it.


    And then "extinguishing". This is a very real danger. Particularly since
    the Beowulf MPI code is released under a BSD-style licence, not under
    the GPL.

    The issue is whether you think people copying open-source software
    should be free to make it closed-source and proprietary (Apache/BSD) or
    not (GPL).

    I used to dislike the GPL, but these days I'm leaning towards it more
    and more...
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 18, 2005
    #3
  4. "Lawrence D'Oliveiro" <_zealand> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Microsoft is building the Beowulf MPI parallel-processing code into its
    > Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
    > <http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1859439,00.asp>. Microsoft says it
    > will give back fixes to the open-source community, and possibly also
    > "changes" as well.
    >
    > Let's see the Microsoft apologists in this noisegroup suddenly discover
    > that Open Source is wonderful after all...


    It's a relatively quiet Monday so I thought I'd chip in a few thoughts on
    this topic for what they're worth....

    First up, "Microsoft Embraces Open Source" might be a fairly long bow to
    draw from an article which talks about us including a small amount of
    BSD-licensed code in a product as big as Windows Server. As an aside, the
    "probably the first team at Microsoft that will actually ship an open-source
    component inside of our solution" comment in that article seems to me to be
    incorrect as it's a well-known fact that shipped the BSD TCP/IP stack in
    Windows for a while.

    Microsoft's viewpoint on opening up our source code has changed
    substantially over the last few years and we've now got 70+ "shared source"
    offerings many of which offer modification and/or redistribution rights in
    some form or another. The best place to start looking for info is
    www.microsoft.com/sharedsource and there's a comprehensive listing of all
    the current programs at
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/Licensing/default.mspx .

    Given that we're a commercial software vendor take a pragmatic view about
    which code we'll open up, the extent to which we'll open it and why. The
    latter tends to be customer-driven e.g. the Government Security Program
    which allows governments to view the source code for Windows and Office
    (including service packs and betas etc) and meet with the people who
    developed the code to discuss issues or ask questions etc. The bottom line
    with all of this is that Microsoft is never going to be an "open source
    company" along the lines of a Red Hat however when it makes sense for both
    our customers and us we're willing to open up our code in a way which
    provides the customer with what they want without compromising our
    intellectual property rights or ability to provide a return to our
    shareholders.

    In addition to the above we have started contributing code into the open
    source community. It's still early days but I think it's an indicator that
    this isn't a lip service thing on our part. A good example of this is the
    Windows Installer XML (WiX) project at http://sourceforge.net/projects/wix .
    This is licensed under the CPL and is proving to be one of the most popular
    projects on SourceForge.

    The concept of open source licensing has been around for decades and will be
    around for decades more. It's not the solution to everything and "wonderful"
    is in the eye of the beholder but it does make good sense in some
    situations. With guys like Bill Hilf and Daniel Robbins now on-board in
    Redmond I think it's a safe bet that this isn't a passing fad on our part

    Brett Roberts
    Microsoft NZ
     
    Brett Roberts, Sep 19, 2005
    #4
  5. <snip>
    >
    > The concept of open source licensing has been around for decades and will
    > be around for decades more. It's not the solution to everything and
    > "wonderful" is in the eye of the beholder but it does make good sense in
    > some situations. With guys like Bill Hilf and Daniel Robbins now on-board
    > in Redmond I think it's a safe bet that this isn't a passing fad on our
    > part
    >
    > Brett Roberts
    > Microsoft NZ
    >


    Speaking of Bill Hilf, here's a (very) recent interview with him conducted
    by NZ journalist Adrian Bathgate

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3414438a13,00.html
     
    Brett Roberts, Sep 19, 2005
    #5
  6. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Rob J Guest

    On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 10:46:24 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro
    <_zealand> wrote:

    >Microsoft is building the Beowulf MPI parallel-processing code into its
    >Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
    ><http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1859439,00.asp>. Microsoft says it
    >will give back fixes to the open-source community, and possibly also
    >"changes" as well.
    >
    >Let's see the Microsoft apologists in this noisegroup suddenly discover
    >that Open Source is wonderful after all...


    Troll. We already noted that MS had opensource stuff on SF.net, and
    that Windows had in a previous time used the BSD winsock code.

    I have nothing against open source software except for the ideologues
    that want to put companies that developed closed source software out
    of business.
     
    Rob J, Sep 19, 2005
    #6
  7. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Bling-Bling Guest

    On Mon, 19 Sep 2005 11:55:33 +1200, Brett Roberts wrote:

    > Microsoft's viewpoint on opening up our source code has changed
    > substantially over the last few years and we've now got 70+ "shared
    > source" offerings many of which offer modification and/or redistribution
    > rights in some form or another.


    LOL!

    Where could I go to pull the entire source of Micro$oft WindozeXP.

    What if I wanted to modify the Windoze GUI and distribute my own version
    of Windoze and call it, say, "Doors." Is that possible?

    No?

    Didn't think so.

    Micro$oft has not made the source code for M$ Windoze freely available.


    Bling Bling

    --
    Windows is a bonfire, Linux is the sun. Linux only looks smaller if you lack
    perspective.
     
    Bling-Bling, Sep 19, 2005
    #7
  8. T'was the Mon, 19 Sep 2005 20:22:00 +1200 when I remembered
    Bling-Bling <> saying something like this:

    >Micro$oft has not made the source code for M$ Windoze freely available.


    Duh. Why should it? More importantly, it doesn't even have to. They're
    the copyright owners, if they don't want anyone to see the code, they
    don't have to. Otherwise, what's the point of copyright?
    --
    Cheers,

    Waylon Kenning.
     
    Waylon Kenning, Sep 19, 2005
    #8
  9. Hi there,

    Rob J wrote:
    > On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 10:46:24 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro
    > <_zealand> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Microsoft is building the Beowulf MPI parallel-processing code into its
    >>Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
    >><http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1859439,00.asp>. Microsoft says it
    >>will give back fixes to the open-source community, and possibly also
    >>"changes" as well.
    >>
    >>Let's see the Microsoft apologists in this noisegroup suddenly discover
    >>that Open Source is wonderful after all...

    >
    >
    > Troll. We already noted that MS had opensource stuff on SF.net, and
    > that Windows had in a previous time used the BSD winsock code.
    >
    > I have nothing against open source software except for the ideologues
    > that want to put companies that developed closed source software out
    > of business.


    Those closed source offerings had better shape up then huh?

    Conversely it seems that commercial software vendors, MS being
    one of the key protagonists, are rampantly trying to enforce
    agendas such software patenting upon the software world. What
    do you think that will do to Open Source software if patents
    gain the foothold MS wants them to?

    Open source doesn't have the financial backing to gain market
    share by buying IP, so it will need to rely on providing a
    better quality and 'value for money' product than the commercial
    vendors...thats the danger MS and others foresee, and thats why
    MS and others are trying to force their patenting agenda upon
    the software world, to make it prohibitively expensive for open
    source vendors to create software thereby killing them off...

    --
    Kind regards,

    Chris Wilkinson, Brisbane, Australia.
    Anyone wishing to email me directly can remove the obvious
    spamblocker, and replace it with t p g <dot> c o m <dot> a u
     
    Chris Wilkinson, Sep 19, 2005
    #9
  10. In article <>,
    "Brett Roberts" <> wrote:

    >First up, "Microsoft Embraces Open Source" might be a fairly long bow to
    >draw from an article which talks about us including a small amount of
    >BSD-licensed code in a product as big as Windows Server.


    From the article:

    It would have been extremely costly and complex for Microsoft to
    develop an alternative to the MPI technology, which "is a complex
    piece of software that would take years to develop," Faenov said.

    "years to develop" a "small amount" of code...?
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 19, 2005
    #10
  11. In article <>,
    Waylon Kenning <> wrote:

    >T'was the Mon, 19 Sep 2005 20:22:00 +1200 when I remembered
    >Bling-Bling <> saying something like this:
    >
    >>Micro$oft has not made the source code for M$ Windoze freely available.

    >
    >Duh. Why should it? More importantly, it doesn't even have to. They're
    >the copyright owners, if they don't want anyone to see the code, they
    >don't have to. Otherwise, what's the point of copyright?


    What, indeed. If it was about revenue, then it wouldn't give copyright
    holders the ability to enforce restrictions on copying that have nothing
    to do with revenue.

    Here's an interesting article about the history of copyright
    <http://www.red-bean.com/kfogel/writings/copyright.html> which suggests
    that, originally, it was more about censorship than anything else.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 19, 2005
    #11
  12. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Bling-Bling Guest

    On Mon, 19 Sep 2005 20:40:44 +1200, Waylon Kenning wrote:

    >>Micro$oft has not made the source code for M$ Windoze freely available.

    >
    > Duh. Why should it? More importantly, it doesn't even have to. They're the
    > copyright owners, if they don't want anyone to see the code, they don't
    > have to


    So why all the pretense of "shared code" if people cannot actually use the
    it?


    Bling Bling

    --
    Windows is a bonfire, Linux is the sun. Linux only looks smaller if you lack
    perspective.
     
    Bling-Bling, Sep 19, 2005
    #12
  13. Bling-Bling wrote:
    >>Microsoft's viewpoint on opening up our source code has changed
    >>substantially over the last few years and we've now got 70+ "shared
    >>source" offerings many of which offer modification and/or redistribution
    >>rights in some form or another.

    > Micro$oft has not made the source code for M$ Windoze freely available.


    they never said that they had... they said you could view it under
    certain circumstances.

    --
    http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Sep 19, 2005
    #13
  14. Bling-Bling wrote:
    >>>Micro$oft has not made the source code for M$ Windoze freely available.

    >>Duh. Why should it? More importantly, it doesn't even have to. They're the
    >>copyright owners, if they don't want anyone to see the code, they don't
    >>have to


    > So why all the pretense of "shared code" if people cannot actually use the
    > it?


    most people don't care about the source code... but govts like to be
    able to see it to look for potential nasties.

    I'm sure that if someone in the position to understand the source, found
    something wrong, and pointed it out to their contact at MS, I'm sure
    that it would be fixed shortly.

    --
    http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Sep 19, 2005
    #14
  15. T'was the Tue, 20 Sep 2005 01:36:27 +1200 when I remembered
    Bling-Bling <> saying something like this:

    >> Duh. Why should it? More importantly, it doesn't even have to. They're the
    >> copyright owners, if they don't want anyone to see the code, they don't
    >> have to

    >
    >So why all the pretense of "shared code" if people cannot actually use the
    >it?


    Why not let everyone have nuclear missile information? Why only select
    governments?

    The answer to all these questions is, the people who developed the
    information are free to do what they want with it, either to show it
    to you or not. That's their choice.
    --
    Cheers,

    Waylon Kenning.
     
    Waylon Kenning, Sep 19, 2005
    #15
  16. "Bling-Bling" <> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.09.19.08.21.59.269149@james...
    > On Mon, 19 Sep 2005 11:55:33 +1200, Brett Roberts wrote:
    >
    >> Microsoft's viewpoint on opening up our source code has changed
    >> substantially over the last few years and we've now got 70+ "shared
    >> source" offerings many of which offer modification and/or redistribution
    >> rights in some form or another.

    >
    > LOL!
    >
    > Where could I go to pull the entire source of Micro$oft WindozeXP.
    >
    > What if I wanted to modify the Windoze GUI and distribute my own version
    > of Windoze and call it, say, "Doors." Is that possible?
    >
    > No?
    >
    > Didn't think so.
    >
    > Micro$oft has not made the source code for M$ Windoze freely available.
    >
    >
    > Bling Bling
    >
    > --
    > Windows is a bonfire, Linux is the sun. Linux only looks smaller if you
    > lack
    > perspective.
    >


    "Freely available" ? Who mentioned "freely available" ? You might have
    missed this bit from my post:

    "The bottom line with all of this is that Microsoft is never going to be an
    "open source company" along the lines of a Red Hat however when it makes
    sense for both our customers and us we're willing to open up our code in a
    way which provides the customer with what they want without compromising our
    intellectual property rights or ability to provide a return to our
    shareholders."

    The whole "access to source code" concept is something which means different
    things to different people. I've talked to developers who love the concept
    and CIO's and IT Managers who hate it (I've also talked to dev's who have no
    desire at all to get their hands on our source code). While it's interesting
    to argue binary viewpoints the reality is that most of the world is shades
    of grey. I think Microsoft's moved a fair way over recent years from being a
    company who shared code with virtually nobody to one who will look at
    sharing code when/where it makes sense. You might not be happy with the
    extent to which we've moved but others are. You can't please all the people
    all the time etc etc

    One could possibly argue that making the Microsoft Windows source code
    available to somebody who has problems spelling both "Microsoft" and
    "Windows" probably wouldn't be a smart move on our part anyway.

    Brett Roberts
    Microsoft NZ
     
    Brett Roberts, Sep 20, 2005
    #16
  17. Brett Roberts wrote:
    > One could possibly argue that making the Microsoft Windows source code
    > available to somebody who has problems spelling both "Microsoft" and
    > "Windows" probably wouldn't be a smart move on our part anyway.


    Now now brett... Be nice to the hard of learning.

    --
    http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Sep 20, 2005
    #17
  18. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Dave Doe Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 10:46:24 +1200, someone purporting to be Lawrence
    > D'Oliveiro didst scrawl:
    >
    > > Microsoft is building the Beowulf MPI parallel-processing code into its
    > > Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
    > > <http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1859439,00.asp>. Microsoft says it
    > > will give back fixes to the open-source community, and possibly also
    > > "changes" as well.
    > >
    > > Let's see the Microsoft apologists in this noisegroup suddenly discover
    > > that Open Source is wonderful after all...

    >
    > Every time I see someone saying that MS are "embracing" anything, I
    > automatically tack "and extending" onto the end of it.
    > If MS have finally caught onto the notion of truly open source and
    > standards, it's about time. However, given their comments on the
    > Massachusetts OpenDoc stand I don't think they've done anything of the


    What are those comments please?

    MS are going 'open source' on their Office product format - Excel, Word
    & Powerpoint will be XML, and they've said this will be the default
    format.

    --
    Duncan
     
    Dave Doe, Sep 20, 2005
    #18
  19. Dave Doe wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > says...
    >
    >>On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 10:46:24 +1200, someone purporting to be Lawrence
    >>D'Oliveiro didst scrawl:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Microsoft is building the Beowulf MPI parallel-processing code into its
    >>>Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
    >>><http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1859439,00.asp>. Microsoft says it
    >>>will give back fixes to the open-source community, and possibly also
    >>>"changes" as well.
    >>>
    >>>Let's see the Microsoft apologists in this noisegroup suddenly discover
    >>>that Open Source is wonderful after all...

    >>
    >>Every time I see someone saying that MS are "embracing" anything, I
    >>automatically tack "and extending" onto the end of it.
    >>If MS have finally caught onto the notion of truly open source and
    >>standards, it's about time. However, given their comments on the
    >>Massachusetts OpenDoc stand I don't think they've done anything of the

    >
    >
    > What are those comments please?
    >
    > MS are going 'open source' on their Office product format - Excel, Word
    > & Powerpoint will be XML, and they've said this will be the default
    > format.


    opendoc, not open document...

    As I read it...
    Massachusetts has asked for all docs to be done in the opendoc format,
    meaning that they can be opened by anyone forever... or something along
    those lines. MS said that MS office doesn't support that file type*#,
    hence Massachusetts is meant to be moving away from MS products.

    *might have only meant older versions of office, as I'm pretty sure that
    I read the next version will support it...

    #MS are also one of the supporters behind the opendoc format... so odd
    that they wouldn't support a file format that they helped develop.


    --
    http://dave.net.nz <- My personal site.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Sep 20, 2005
    #19
  20. In article <>,
    "Brett Roberts" <> wrote:

    >The whole "access to source code" concept is something which means different
    >things to different people. I've talked to developers who love the concept
    >and CIO's and IT Managers who hate it (I've also talked to dev's who have no
    >desire at all to get their hands on our source code).


    The game is called "think outside the box". All the instances you've
    quoted above are from scenarios where support is based on your existing
    closed-source model. In most of these scenarios, giving access to the
    source code--particularly under the restrictions that you've
    enforced--makes no sense.

    But if you rethink the whole support issue, you can see that open-source
    allows for new support scenarios that scale in ways and in directions
    that are not possible with closed-source.

    Two of those directions are: supporting large numbers of users without
    losing the personal touch
    <http://groups-beta.google.com/group/nz.comp/messages/54965d864010beb5>,
    and supporting smaller numbers of users with unusual or older hardware.
    Witness the number of current Linux distros that continue to offer most
    of their features even on old hardware, which is something that current
    versions of Windows are unable to do.
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 20, 2005
    #20
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