Information Week: Open Source For Microsoft?

“There has been much brouhaha about open-source software lately,
and a lot of companies have gotten on board one way or another.
Among the joiners have been Netscape, Sun Microsystems, and

“One company that you won’t see on that list any time soon, I
predict, is Microsoft–except perhaps in very limited
situations–and for good reasons. Microsoft’s applications and its
operating systems are its key revenue producers, obviously. Not so
obvious, however, is that when people think of Microsoft products,
they rarely think about how much code contained in those products
is actually licensed from third-party software companies–companies
that may not want their code to be open sourced….”

Copyright and patent laws are quirky things. If Microsoft
were to release Windows, for instance, as open source, it could
jeopardize the copyrights or patents of any third parties who have
licensed code or technologies to Microsoft.
If you throw one
thing into dispute–i.e., the validity of Microsoft’s
copyrights–you throw all the third-party code into the same


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