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June 2007 Archives

When Michael Tiemann, President of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), rose up and smote the world-be open source vendors of the world last week, I was initially very happy. I cannot tell you how often I am in a briefing with someone and have rolled my eyes when they tout their company's product as "open source" when it is so clearly not.

This is not just the CRM vendors, who seem to be bearing the brunt of the blame for abusing the open source term. I get this sort of thing from all sorts of vendors, particularly embedded software firms.

You might wonder why you haven't seen many of these so-called open source firms featured on LT or LinuxPlanet; it's usually because I either won't take these briefings any more or, if the PR person doing the interview has fooled me into thinking the product is really open source, I typically stop the interview right then and there and move on to something more important.

So, yes, I was pleased to hear the OSI would be cracking down on the flagrant use of "open source" in the marketplace. I only have one problem: since OSI was the organization that let the proliferation of licenses happen in the first place, I think their efforts will be too little, too late.

Catching Up

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There is always a feeling of disconnection when you come back from vacation, stemming from the fact that yes, indeed, the world did move on without you.

But when I got back from visiting glorious (if slightly wet) Italy last week, the disorienting feeling was just a little bit sharper when I noted that yet another Linux distributor has made a covenant deal with Microsoft.

Say thanks to Xandros, everybody, for validating Microsoft's plan to kill Linux.