Microsoft Should Step Up Its Open-Source Strategy

It’s time for Microsoft to put its software where its mouth has been.

Late last year, an individual with connections to the open-source community submitted one of Microsoft’s Shared Source licenses to the OSI (Open Source Initiative) for approval as an OSI-sanctioned open-source license.

The license submitter, John Cowan, was not a Microsoft employee. At press time, we knew little about his motives. We did know, however, that Microsoft was none too pleased that it was being rushed into taking the seemingly momentous step of getting the official OSI blessing of its Microsoft Community License.

In some ways, I can’t blame Microsoft for rebuffing Cowan’s efforts. Would I want someone submitting a story I had written for publication in a magazine or newspaper without my prior knowledge? Or if I had developed a patentable product or service, would I take kindly to someone else seeking patent approval for it—even in my name?

Nonetheless, Microsoft’s reaction to this latest development says volumes about the company’s thinking, these days, about open source. Microsoft officials rarely are lashing out at open-source vendors, strategies and policies these days. Instead, Microsoft wants to be seen as a potential partner—perhaps even a “friend”—of the open-source community.

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CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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