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March 25, 2005

Details about Microsoft, Open and Shared Source

In my video I mention that many companies are participating in open source of various sorts, including Sun, Microsoft, and others. Here's some additional material on that.

David Berlind of ZDNet has posted a 1 hour MP3 podcast of an interview with Microsoft's chief strategist on open source, Jason Matusow. David also has a write up on his blog of it, complete with some comments about how it relates to his interview with SpikeSource's Kim Polese. I found the Matusow interview fascinating. David is pretty well steeped in Open Source thinking and does ask some good questions. Jason is also clearly well versed in the details of Open Source and gives answers that are hard to condense into a short blog post (he also has a new blog of his own where he tries).

Jason makes it clear that Microsoft is releasing the source code to various pieces of software under a range of licenses. Some of it is under OSI-approved Open Source licenses such as the CPL. Some of it (e.g., Windows) is under more restricted "read only, don't modify" licenses. He also reminds us on his blog that Microsoft Research participates in some OSS projects directly. Microsoft is clearly feeling its way in the sharing world and this is evolving in ways that people may not have anticipated a couple of years ago. It's worth it for other "direct sale of software" companies (a term he uses at time 2:30 on the MP3 and contrasted with those that make their revenue "indirectly" from software through services, hardware, etc.) to watch them carefully and learn.

Having listened to several of David Berlind's podcasts recently, you can see that he frequently brings up questions of interest to the Open Source community. He is currently trying to get as much of his "source" material as a journalist as possible into sharable form and providing a lot of it in downloadable, MP3 podcast format which you can listen to on most personal computers and portable MP3 players. See his "How to tune it" page for more details.

Posted by danb at March 25, 2005 11:18 AM