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OSI and Microsoft: Open Source 'Divide and Conquer'? (Updated)

A reader of our Web site, SubSónica, had some insightful thoughts to share. Some of the points raised therein are probably worth sharing in a separate, standalone post.

There is a certain concern that Microsoft's OSI approach could further divide an already-fragile and already-divided community. Microsoft's affairs with Novell may have put an end to what we once knew as OSDL.

Could Microsoft turn the open source community against itself simply through involvement? Could the term "Open Source" be further 'diluted' by the inclusion of a "Shared Source" licence, which might fall under the same umbrella of definitions? Last month I spotted an article that referred to "Shared Source" as "Open Source", arguing that our ‘friend’ Mr. Hilf is actually spreading the open source message around Asia. This is far worse than Sun Microsystems' work in this area.

If there is a parallel between the speculation made here and the Novell deal, then it is probably new deals such as this.

On the software side, Microsoft today announced a partnership with open source solution vendor SpikeSource to eventually certify all of SpikeSource's SpikeIgnited solutions on the Microsoft Windows platform.


Remember deals with XenSource, Zend, among a few other companies that receive incentives from Microsoft in order to abolish and neglect Linux performance? Does this not remind you of Novell, which neglected ODF and began working on OOXML ‘translators’?

Updated: watch this article which reveals Microsoft's true intentions.

When I really looked through Microsoft's open-source Web site, it's objectives became clearer: To convince IT managers that they can use open-source software side by side with Microsoft software....

The objective is seemingly about interoperability, but what Microsoft really wants is to prevent defections—customers replacing some of their software with open-source alternatives.


This is not news, but Microsoft now confirms this. It only uses "Open Source" when it suits it --- to its favour. It's nothing to do with an ideological change. Think of it as assimilation for proximity.

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