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What Open Source Means to Microsoft, Nokia

"Play by the rules or pick up those toys and go home"

Microsoft's understanding of open source consistently mirrors its own ambitions -- ones that define it to be hybrid and vendor-dependent. Here is the latest example.

It's official: Microsoft will not accept any external code contributions to its planned Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR), which will run Microsoft's new scripting languages for the web and Silverlight content on .NET

Microsoft will, though, continue to accept source-code contributions to its slowly emerging implementation of Ruby for .NET, IronRuby. Contributions are helping to build IronRuby and shepherd the language towards the first-full release.

[...]

The reason Microsoft decided to leave the DLR closed, despite taking contributions to the languages that will run inside it, is to protect itself from unwanted licenses and IP claims.


If you look more closely you'll find that what Microsoft wants is free labour -- moreover labour that results in developers and end-user getting dependent on proprietary and pricey programs.

"Give us code, lots of code, more code..."

"But it's ours. We control it."

That's not open source (Free software aside). The story behind Microsoft's grab of Ruby with .NET is noteworthy also, particularly in light of those Silverlight-bound 'extensions'. It's mainly about control. Remember what Microsoft said just days ago and this quick interpretation also: "So could you ask, what is this collaborative development, this new syntagm [Microsoft's] Mr. Matusow is using all over the place? Well, buried deep towards the very end of his post,"

Sadly enough, Nokia too seems far from committed. It is adamant about enforcing software patents, DRM and other consumer-hostile mechanisms. Bruce Pernes has just responded to that latest lecture from Ari Jaaksi.

...perhaps the community has some education for Jaaksi and Nokia. Jaaksi hosted me at a Nokia dinner in 2000, he's a nice guy and has been interested in Linux for a long time. But Nokia's barking up the wrong tree this time, because Nokia can do everything it wants with DRM, IPR, and SIM locks without bothering the Linux developers about it - and both Nokia and the Linux developers will like it better that way. It's surprising that Nokia doesn't understand that at this late date.


Here is what Pamela Jones said about this: "Do what you like, but if you wish to use the code, you obey the license. If not, please write your own. Personally, I won't use DRM'd products. I can wait. I understand Hollywood is a problem for you, but until they wake up and realize they are destroying their old business model by scrupulously avoiding any new ones, instead trying to graft the old one onto a new age, I'll just avoid their offerings. I can live without Hollywood, I find, when it's something this vital. I understand that puts Nokia in a tough spot, because they want to do deals with Hollywood. Go ahead and do deals, but leave me out. And please don't use FOSS code until you are ready to play by the rules. I just won't buy or use any Nokia phones if you break the rules. I think that's fair."

Why can't these 2 companies simply abide by the rules and spirit of the licences/establishments they embrace (OSI in the former case and GPL in the latter)? Novell is no exception. Novell too happens to be among those sinners. It uses GNU/Linux to sell proprietary software ("mixed source") and it signs software patent deals.

Gates on SUSE

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