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SubjectRE: Microsoft begining to open source Windows 2000?
On Thu, 8 Mar 2001, Anton Altaparmakov wrote:

> At 16:04 08/03/01, Venkatesh Ramamurthy wrote:
> >My initial thought after seeing this article was that microsoft was testing
> >its waters on open sourcing. If i have 1500 licenses then i would get the
> >source. If i find any bug in thier source , i would report to microsoft or
> >send a patch and they would put it in thier next version. Is this not the
> >same way Linux Kernel is developed?. Only thing microsoft does not want to
> >immediately go full open sourcing and get embarrased at the hands of linux
> >people.
> You are not reading the article carefully enough.
> With Linux, everyone is free to make their own changes which suit their
> particular setup, recompile the kernel, and run their own linux kernel on
> their site / server / workstation / whatever.
> Microsoft specifically forbids this in their license!

Yes. It's a pretty crappy license - but still beats the previous one (if
you want to worship our almighty code, hand over your firstborn. Oh, and
leave your brain with us for safekeeping, and you're not allowed to do any
programming ever again, except for us.)

> It is a "look but don't touch" license which is as far away from the ideas
> of the GPL as you can possibly get.

Is it? Going from "totally closed" to "we might let you see the code if
you grovel" is a step in the right direction, at least.

> Even submitting them a patch is technically violating their license as a
> patch implies that you have modified their code already, which is forbidden!

Hmm... Perhaps. I doubt they'd object, particularly if the patch worked :P

> The only change from before that I can see is that Microsoft is going to
> make even more money now, because they will collect the money from ~1000
> instead of ~10 people. No other news there.

They do already license the source to a few trusted companies (Executive
Software used to ship modified NTFS drivers for NT 3.51 as part of
Diskeeper, IIRC). They are inching ever so slowly towards letting human
beings (cf MS drones) read their code...


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