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Pundits' Field Day with "Open" Microsoft

Feb 22, 2008, 20:30 (4 Talkback[s])

eWeek: Microsoft Spins Legal Defeat into PR Fool's Gold

[ Thanks to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for this link. ]

"If you didn't know what was really behind Microsoft's open standards and source promises, it might sound like Microsoft was making real changes.

"You've got to give Microsoft credit for gall. They take a crunching defeat at the hands of the European Union court system for trying to conceal information and now that the court has forced them to reveal that same information, Microsoft is all about increasing 'the openness of its products and drive greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for developers, partners, customers and competitors...'"

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Microsoft Watch: Whose Principles Are They?

"Ozzie said that the information disclosure demonstrates 'our commitment to an open and level playing field.' I find the statement hugely perplexing. How is that commitment defined? Microsoft will disclose Office and Windows information that is available to the company's other product groups. So, interoperability--a 'level playing field'--means that third-party developers will get the same information access that Microsoft developers already have.

"What the hell? Ozzie's statement means one of two things, and neither reflects well on Microsoft's interoperability commitment. Either the information was already available or it wasn't. If it already was available, then there is nothing new here and Microsoft is blowing PR smoke...'"

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451 CAOS Theory: Open Source Disruption Realized

"One interesting and refreshing thing about these recent announcements: they involve actual open APIs and open code. We’ve all seen over the last five years how ‘open source’ has become something of a marketing buzzword and bandwagon. But now it seems clear that the bandwagon is actually moving along quite fast. Rather than vague, largely hollow promises or pledges to open source, we see vendors waking up to the fact that open source better darn well mean open code..."

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Underexposed: Microsoft's Long History of Open-source Acrimony

"So to put the news into historical context, here's a chronology of some of Microsoft's statements and practices regarding open-source software over the years:

  • "On October 31, 1998, the first so-called 'Halloween memo' from Microsoft suggested that some in the company saw open-source software as a major threat. 'The intrinsic parallelism and free idea exchange in open-source software has benefits that are not replicable with our current licensing model and therefore present a long-term developer mindshare threat,' the memo said, suggesting that one way to thwart open-source software would be to extend communication protocols with Microsoft-only changes..."

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iTWire: What Better Time for MS to Talk About Interoperability?

"Microsoft's latest move on 'interoperability' is an indication that it feels it has reached the stage of 'extend' in the famous 'embrace, extend and extinguish' strategy for which the company is well known. And the timing could not be better.

"The embrace of four Linux resellers in 2006 and 2007 has been well documented and needs no elaboration--eager for handouts and keen to stand in line like good citizens, Novell, Xandros, Turbo Linux and Linpsire signed up with the team in Redmond..."

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Seeking Alpha: Microsoft Tries to Put Open Source Background in the Past

"The announcement has three implications:

"First, previous tactical opposition to open source software [OSS] has been a distraction to Microsoft's 'Software Plus Service' strategy, which hopefully will become more about providing IT and business services than mundane closed or open technology terms and conditions. This means 'Software Plus Service' is misnamed (but don't get hung up on words, as the U.S. presidential candidates are saying to each other). The Software Plus Service strategy has been a work in progress since Ray Ozzie joined Microsoft and dropping all the anti-OSS tactics makes that clearer to investors..."

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Computerworld UK: Microsoft Gets Open Source Religion--Or Maybe Not

"I've been predicting for some years that Microsoft will become an open source company--simply because it's a better way of creating software, and because the old model of selling constant rounds of unwanted, unnecessary upgrades to bloated legacy applications isn't going to work much longer. And today, with much fanfare, Microsoft finally announced... nothing of the kind.

"But what it did unveil is interesting and significant..."

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John Carroll: Countering the Microsoft Cynics

"So, given my past track record of advocating exactly the kinds of things Steve Ballmer and Ray Ozzie have committed the company to implementing, and given that I AM a Microsoft employee, I have one simple question to ask readers:

"Do you think I am atypical for a Microsoft employee...?"

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