“More Open Than Open [...] I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”
Summary: Companies which are faking/misusing “Open Source” are named and shamed, but Microsoft, which violated the GPL several times last year and casts “Open Source” as “Open APIs”, gets a free ride
AT NASA, Microsoft’s “Open” or “Open Source” simply mean that “open source” platforms like BSD and GNU/Linux are excluded [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. When Microsoft talks about “choice”, it talks about "Microsoft or Microsoft". In many ways, Microsoft is the most guilty of subverting the meaning of “open”, “open source”, and “standard”. And yet, in IDG’s own mind, this point is being left out entirely. The following article does not cover Microsoft’s role in this perversion of the term.
Closed source vendors hijack the term ‘open’
The ultimate irony? What is really posted on GitHub, at least as far as 15 minutes of searching would reveal, is not even the API itself, but merely a wrapper written Ruby for the API.
Open source? NOT.
The second instance of attempted-open-source-by-association was for a new software/hardware/storage bundle I can’t tell you about until Monday. On Monday, a vendor will be introducing what it says is the first “open” product for <ok, I can’t tell you that yet>. The vendor has determined that its new product is “open” because it will be publishing an API.
Open source? NOT.
Open? Well, let me just note that Windows has had an API for decades (it is an operating system after all). After so many rounds with antitrust litigation in both in the U.S. and in Europe, I doubt anyone would call it open.
Actually, Microsoft does call it that and has done this for years, with help from O'Reilly and others whom Microsoft is paying (IDG is also receiving money from Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). There are even software patents on these APIs, and Microsoft does guard these patents.
So Microsoft’s fake notion of “open source” (usually Windows-only) is being boosted by the ignorant and those whom Microsoft is paying. When it comes to real Open Source (or Free software) like Drupal, Microsoft is attacking. Let’s not forget Microsoft smearing Drupal in its ads. After this had happened and Microsoft apologised, Matt Asay, who considers himself a friend of Microsoft’s Jason Matusow, was right there defending Microsoft and this time he writes about Jive bad-mouthing Drupal and Liferay.
In a somewhat Quixotic quest, Jive Software has been showcasing a white paper titled “Jive vs. Open Source” (PDF), with a page devoted to what it claims are the negatives of Drupal and Liferay.
On one hand, as CMS Watch argues, it’s Marketing 101 to accentuate one’s positives while highlighting the competition’s weaknesses.
But by choosing to focus on open source, in general, and Drupal, in particular, Jive has effectively taken out a billboard advertisement that essentially proclaims: “We’re really worried about Drupal. It’s a big-time threat to our business.”
Jive doesn’t have the heft of Microsoft, but perhaps it’s taking a page from the same marketing handbook.
Compare that to what Asay wrote when it was Microsoft — not Jive — attacking Drupal in its ads.
“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO