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LinuxFormat.co.uk: The Microsoft Break-In: What are the implications for the open source community?

Oct 30, 2000, 15:36 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by ctjhowells)

[ Thanks to Rob Fenwick for this link. ]

"You may be wondering what the effects of somebody stealing Microsoft source code could be? Could it be used against Microsoft to destroy them? Could it be used to destroy the outstanding work done by the free software community (with code released under the GNU General Public License)? Unfortunately the effects, as this Linux Journal article shows, are potentially devastating to the free software commuity."

"Corel have turned their Windows software such as Draw and WordPerfect Office 2000 into Linux software using Wine and Winelib, as it has allowed easy porting of Windows software to Linux. Therefore Corel (even though they are part owned by Microsoft) are extremeley dependant on Wine, and have in fact been contributing to Wine's development for some time, by providing bug fixes. Since their investment in Corel, Microsoft have persuaded Corel to ".NET" enable their applications, which includes, presumably, their Linux software -- which runs on Linux due to Wine and Winelib."

"Therefore, it would seem that although they may not want it to be, Wine and Winelib are actually essential to Microsoft's attempts to embrace Linux. Currently Wine is legal since none of the developers have seen Microsoft source code, although if people that had seen the source code contributed to Wine, would Microsoft attempt to claim damages, even though the software would currently seem central to Microsoft's Linux plans?"

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