Consultant: Microsoft responds to Open Source leadership

But stays on the back foot

By opening its .NET Framework libraries Microsoft is again responding to the leadership of the open source community, according to industry consultants and developers, but remaining on the back foot.

The software giant last week released its .NET framework library under a Microsoft Reference License, which means the code can be viewed but not modified or redistributed.

Open source consultant and developer Jeff Waugh believes the market is beginning to recognise Microsoft's behaviour when it's on the back foot. This move, he says, is just another sign.

"Instead of building great, market-building products, Microsoft is turning to legal threats, branch stacking (in the case of the standards battle around OOXML), and almost laughable attempts to embrace and extend its competitor's models (which we see with Google and Open Source)," he said.

"The sheen is gone, Vista is a wreck, and the market no longer believes that Microsoft is unstoppable."

Waugh said that the code won't even be useful for open source developers contributing to the Mono project, as they do not want their work contaminated by Intellectual Property (from Microsoft or elsewhere).

Waugh does not believe Microsoft's move in any way signifies a shift by the company towards open source methodologies.

"If the industry conversation wasn't dominated by open source, this code release would not rate a mention. They've made code available under similar terms in the past," he said.

"It is hard to see beyond the manipulation and cynicism in all of Microsoft's open source related moves to date."

Mono Project founder Miguel de Icaza is a little more hopeful, writing in his blog that even though the Microsoft Reference License for the code is not open source, it is an important step.

"Sun had done something similar with Java in the past and over time they moved towards opening more and more of it. I am still in hope that one day Microsoft will open pieces of this under more liberal licenses that would allow those pieces to be used for any purposes, including Mono."

Mono, an open source, Ecma compliant set of .NET compatible tools, including a C# compiler, continues to have the policy that any developer that has viewed .NET source code in any way is unable to contribute to the project.

Although Mono will not benefit from the .NET framework library, it does benefit from some of the code that Microsoft releases under the MS-PL license (Microsoft Permissive License, soon to be re-named the Microsoft Open License). Some of this code is redistributed in The Dynamic Language Runtime, IronPython, IronRuby and the ASP.NET AJAX Javascript client-side library.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?