Friday, July 27, 2007

Microsoft Open Source

Q. What is Microsoft's perspective on open source?

Open source is neither an industry fad, nor a magic bullet. Rather, the development methods commonly encompassed by the term open source have provided customers and developers with additional options among many in the technology ecosystem.

Q. What is Microsoft's open source strategy?

Microsoft is a platform company committed to building technologies that empower communities of developers and partners to deliver compelling software solutions to customers. This approach is reflected in the size and health of the technology ecosystem in which Microsoft participates:

  • 750,000 partner businesses around the world that, according to the findings of a global study of 22,000 technology companies, earn an average of $8 in revenue for every $1 earned by Microsoft.
  • 5,000,000 developers around the world who have created a vast array of applications using Microsoft platform technologies such as Microsoft Windows, Windows Live, Microsoft Office, .NET platform, Microsoft Windows Server, and Microsoft Xbox.

The Microsoft open source strategy is focused on helping customers and partners be successful in today's heterogeneous technology world. This includes increasing opportunities for business partners regardless of the underlying development model. In addition, it includes increasing opportunities for developers to learn and create by combining community-oriented open source with traditional commercial approaches to software development.

Q. Is this a new strategy?

In a heterogeneous technology world, developers, users, and entrepreneurs choose technologies that help them be successful. Today, numerous open source developers and business partners have chosen Microsoft technologies:

  • Developers have created more than 79,000 open source applications using Microsoft platform technologies that are available on the and repositories.
  • Many companies who have chosen to build businesses around open source software are working with Microsoft to deliver value to our shared customers, including SugarCRM, MySQL, Novell, JBoss, Zend, XenSource, Sun Microsystems, Mozilla, Aras, SpikeSource, and Xorp.

Q. Does this site replace Port25 or CodePlex?

No. This site is intended to provide information about Microsoft and open source in one place, serving as a gateway for information about open source engagements and activities across Microsoft. CodePlex is the Microsoft open source project hosting Web site and will continue to be a resource for developers and consumers of open source projects. Port 25 is the public portal for the Open Source Software Lab at Microsoft, and will continue to be a resource for technical insights, blogs, and how-to information for the use of Microsoft and open source technologies together.

Q. Does this mean Microsoft is phasing out the Shared Source Initiative?

No. This site is intended to provide information about Microsoft and open source in one place, serving as a gateway for information about open source engagements and activities across Microsoft. This includes announcements concerning releases of Microsoft code for community development through the Shared Source program; however, the Shared Source Initiative (SSI) will continue to encompass the spectrum of programs and licenses offered by Microsoft to various communities of customers, partners, developers, and other interested individuals. This includes not only the processes for Microsoft product groups releasing source code for community development, but also, for example, the Government Security Program (GSP) for national governments and international organizations; the Windows Academic Program, supplying universities with concepts, code, and projects useful for integrating core Windows kernel technologies into teaching and research.

Q. What is the Microsoft position on intellectual property (IP) and open source?

Intellectual property (IP) serves a vital role in maintaining a healthy cycle of innovation in the IT industry. IP concepts—including copyright, trademark, patent, or public domain—are useful for developers to define terms of use that enable their project or business to thrive, regardless of what development model they choose.

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