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

Reducing security risks from open source software

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

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.