SIAA slams MS over open source claims

Spinning Around

The head of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has slammed Microsoft's recent comments on the "relaxation" of its Open Source policy.

"Microsoft is once again publicly making the case that innovation in the software industry should happen only at the discretion and direction of Microsoft," said SIIA president Ken Wasch, in reply to comments made by Microsoft exec Craig Mundie yesterday.

Mundie said Microsoft planned to follow a shared-source policy to "significantly expand its source licensing programs".

"There is no 'one size fits all' solution for the software needs of corporations throughout the world. Yet Microsoft is employing public relations tactics to incite fear among businesses that are considering migrating to the Open Source model," said Wasch.

The SIAA, a trade association for the software code industry, described Microsoft's claims that its business model embodied the open source movement by current practices of sharing code as "incredulous".

Wasch added that the software giant only shared some of its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and only did this when it was in the best interests of the company, and not for the good of innovation in the industry.

"If we could offer some friendly advice to the Microsoft PR effort, we would suggest an approach such as 'We [Microsoft] welcome competition from the Open Source movement, and through that competition, customers will recognize the superiority of our (Microsoft's) solution.'"

"Instead, they seem to be saying, 'we win when customers have no choices,'" he said. ®

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