A common thread in talkbacks over the past few weeks as stories
have appeared about Microsoft's attacks on the GPL and its own use
of open source software has been the company's Interix product.
Craig Mundie pops up to explain that while the company may acquire
GPL'd products in the process of acquiring another company. Samba's
Jeremy Allison, Sendmail's Eric Allman and the FSF's Bradley Kuhn
are on hand for this item, as well.
"Interix was developed in the late 1990s in response to
a similar version of the migration tools that Microsoft had created
months earlier on its own, according to Mumit Khan, a former
contracted engineer for Softway, who helped develop the compiler
that ran on Interix.
"(Microsoft) had a baseline implementation (of migration tools)
that basically didn't do anything," Khan said. So through a joint
development and licensing agreement with Microsoft, Softway went to
work on the Interix tools.
"Softway had a very interesting license agreement with
Microsoft," said Jeremy Allison, co-creator of the open-source
program Samba -- which allows users to access printers and files on
a variety of operating systems -- who has followed Microsoft's
acquisition of Softway and its ongoing criticism of open source.
"They had access to Microsoft's source code with the idea that they
would make a small operating system" within Windows that would run
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