"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...'"
"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...'"
"One interesting and refreshing thing about these recent
announcements: they involve actual open APIs and open code.
Weâ€™ve all seen over the last five years how
â€˜open sourceâ€™ 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..."
Underexposed: Microsoft's Long History of Open-source
"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..."
iTWire: What Better Time for MS to Talk About
"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..."
Seeking Alpha: Microsoft Tries to Put Open Source Background in
"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..."
Computerworld UK: Microsoft Gets Open Source Religion--Or Maybe
"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..."
"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...?"