[lkml]   [2001]   [Jun]   [23]   [last100]   RSS Feed
Views: [wrap][no wrap]   [headers]  [forward] 
Messages in this thread
SubjectRe: [OT]Re: One more ZDNet article with BillG hammering Linux and Open Source.
On 22 Jun 2001 20:45:14 -0700, Gerhard Mack wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Jun 2001, Ben Ford wrote:
> > Miles Lane wrote:
> >
> > >,4586,2777283,00.html
> > >
> > [ . . . ]
> >
> > Hey, Bill, here's my address, can you ship me the full source to Word?
> Funny but by giving it to you they could really screw you when it comes to
> opensource work. If you think the GPL is viral you havn't seen "shared
> source".. at least the GPL only applies to derived works.

Here's the kicker. I went to Microsoft's site and tried to find
a copy of their Shared Software License or some approximation
thereof. All I found was a bunch of Craig Mundie's blathering
and some critiques of the GPL:

How can we evaluate if there is any point in asking BillG for
the Word source code if they won't even show us the blighted
license? What I suspect is that there IS no "Shared Source
License." And, even if there were, Microsoft doesn't want
anyone to see it because that would allow a direct comparison
with the GPL, LGPL and so on. Heaven forbid that apples should
be compared to apples!

What they appear to have is a hodgepodge of different ways
of "sharing" source code. Here's an excerpt from:
Some examples of Shared Source already being implemented at Microsoft:

Research source licensing. For nearly a decade, Microsoft Research has
licensed Microsoft Windows source code to more than 100 academic
institutions in 23 countries. For more information, see Microsoft
Research University Programs.

Enterprise licensing program. Source code for Windows 2000 and
subsequent releases of Windows is available for licensing at no charge
to more than 1,000 enterprise customers in the United States. We also
have a pilot program expanding the ESLP to 12 additional countries.

ISV source licensing. We are developing a program for licensing Windows
source code to top tier ISVs (independent software vendors) for
development and support purposes.

OEM source licensing. Windows source code has been licensed for years to
leading OEMs to assist in the development and support of their consumer
and server products.

Windows CE source code access. We are licensing Windows CE source code
through Platform Builder 3.0 (generally available to all developers).
Microsoft will be broadening and adding to the community support
mechanisms through the Platform Builder Program. In the second half of
this year we will offer academic site licenses for Windows CE source

Expanded level of Windows CE source access. Additionally, we have
announced an expanded level of Windows CE source access to, (i) our
leading silicon vendor partners via the Windows Embedded Strategic
Silicon Alliance program, and (ii) our leading system integrator
partners via the Innovation Alliance Program.

Sample code. Over the years Microsoft has made millions of lines of
source code freely available to developers through resources such as
SDKs, DDKs, and MSDN. Check out the MSDN Online Code Center.

.NET Framework submitted to ECMA standards body. We have announced that
the specifications for the .NET Framework have been submitted to the
ECMA standards body, enabling others to implement and evolve this
technology in a platform-independent manner so that it is can be rapidly
and widely adopted on an industry-side basis. For more information, see
ECMA Standardization.

These Shared Source programs will be joined in the coming months by
programs covering additional products and technologies. The realization
of our .NET vision will rely heavily on the Shared Source philosophy. We
also plan to introduce a Shared Source license crafted to the needs of
our customers and partners in governments around the world. This
government source license will be similar in nature to the license we
offer our large enterprise customers today. Still in the works are new
source sharing ideas for our ISV partners as well.

My interpretation of this excerpt is that Microsoft figures out
what rights it wants to allow each of these categories of
developers/users and then incredibly restricts the freedom of
anyone who sees their code to change, port or use the code in
any way at all. My impression is that they are happy to have
grad students look at the NT code, because they want really
smart people to get used to using NT all the time and then
graduate and go become Microsoft borgs.

What I imagine happens is that if you ask for source code, they
decide whether they want to show it to you, then they make you
sign away your life (such as freedom to work on any code vaguely
like the code they're going to show you) and then they sue you
into bankruptcy or out-of-court settlement if you breathe in a
way they don't like.

I'd be happy if Bill and his merry band proved me wrong,
but I really doubt that'll happen.


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at

 \ /
  Last update: 2005-03-22 12:55    [W:4.314 / U:0.012 seconds]
©2003-2020 Jasper Spaans|hosted at Digital Ocean and TransIP|Read the blog|Advertise on this site