Feeds

Open source supremo backs MS as Apple sides with AOL

"Microsoft deserves to win this battle," says Eric S Raymond

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Apple today poked a finger in Microsoft's eye by siding with AOL in the great Instant Messenger debate that has even had the great and the good of the open source community siding with the Beast of Redmond. Apple's deal with AOL, to support AOL's instant messaging (IM) service on the Mac, presumably by building it into the OS as a bundled app, is probably more about persuading AOL to better support the MacOS. True, the company offers its AOL software for the Mac, but usually many months after the Windows release. Still, it does help AOL's strategy of winning support by playing on anti-Microsoft sentiment. Part of the plan involved releasing the protocol for the IM service under an open source-style licence. Trouble was, it allowed Microsoft to get in there and develop its own IM client. Since then AOL has tinkered with the protocol with the effect that it has continually broken Microsoft's client, and others. It's that apparent support for open standards combined with a willingness to change those standards to prevent someone using them that stuck in the craw of open source guru Eric S Raymond. "When all is said and done, Microsoft is right on this one," he wrote. "Their intentions may be predatory, but if the history of open source and the Internet is any guide, we should back them to win this fight. "Microsoft... deserves to win this battle." Raymond makes a fair point. If you want anyone to have free access to your software, that must, by definition, include Microsoft. Otherwise it simply isn't genuine open source. Apple could certainly have timed its AOL announcement better -- as is very keen right now to attract the support of the open source world through Darwin, its open source cut-down version of MacOS X Server. So perhaps this is indeed a covert attempt to stick one over on Microsoft. So much for the $150 million investment, Bill is probably thinking right now. ® See also Mail wars: the Microsoft versus AOL square-off

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.