Microsoft squeezing its way into FOSS?
An interesting news article regarding Microsoft's recent 'open source'
initiative titled "Codeplex".
According to VUNET, Microsoft's CodePlex is hoping to attract budding
developers. Codeplex has recently been launched as an effort to promote the
usage of Microsoft software engineering technology among the development
community around the world. During it's beta trial, the CodePlex website
received more than a 100,000 visits from a worldwide audience showcasing 12
projects managed by more than 30 developers.
Microsoft sees this as a way of offering transparency into Microsoft
Technology to the developer community says Jon Rosenberg, director of
community source programmes at Microsoft. Secondly he feels that it will add
practical experience to the CVs of the developers engaging in the CodePlex
An insight into the CodePlex activity by Microsoft.
Microsoft may be picking up tidbits from the FOSS community regarding
collaborative software development and the opportunities that the FOSS
community shares. It's a good thing to see that various proprietary software
corporations that stood strong in their dominance at one stage are now
bending towards the offerings and disruption caused by the FOSS movement,
even though they give a feeling of making CVs good and something strong for
the developer's career. However, such initiatives will continue to lack the
spirit that the FOSS community or movement shares globally. If Microsoft
says "Your Potential, Our Passion", the FOSS community says "Your Benefit,
Our Spirit", though; the path to realization for the proprietary software
corporations is definitely a long journey!
Another important consideration is that the CodePlex promotes a significant
copyright by Microsoft. While going through its code of conduct section, it
states "Microsoft reserves the right to remove at any time, without notice,
any sample and/or post to a collaborative service.", so much for the right
to share and develop or even privacy. Another interesting topic is that the
privacy issues are not relevant to an open community but to that of what
Microsoft offers to its general customers on the MSN or Microsoft Websites
so it keeps ending up back under copyright or security issues under the
Promoting the Commons through ICT Software Freedom
Fouad Riaz Bajwa
General Secretary - FOSS Advocate
FOSSFP: Free & Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan R Secretariat
URL: www.fossfp.org ; www.ubuntu-pk.org
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