Feeds

Can Microsoft 'do' open source by 2015?

Consistency and commitment needed

High performance access to file storage

As to opening Windows and Office? That’s unlikely to form part of Microsoft’s strategy by 2015 - at least under the current mode of thought.

Note, Microsoft is largely making its infrastructure-level code - tools, APIs, protocols - free to read but not open source. To Microsoft's credit, free to read is a huge step for any proprietary company, holding intellectual property claims in the US.

The strategy is somewhat self-serving, though, as one might expect. The idea is that by publishing such details, developers can improve the performance of their open source products and code - like PHP - when running on Windows. Why? To ultimately ensure Windows continues to sell, and that PHP developers don’t develop and deploy on, say, Linux instead.

It’s a strategy of practical engagement with open source that’s at least moved on from the early days, with Microsoft’s “Get the facts” campaign. That was a PR hammer designed to bludgeon IT buyers into picking Windows over Linux and open source products. However, it failed to take into account what those building the applications were really doing with their code.

Ramji repeated the current standard Microsoft line: there is little value in opening Windows or Office. ISVs and systems integrators “rely” on a consistent platform and openness leads to forking.

Beat open source "champions"

In some ways Microsoft is little different from other big vendors, companies who are actually seen as "championing" open source. Companies like Oracle and IBM who are keeping their runtimes - databases or application servers - securely closed, and have bought in open source products.

Microsoft is actually more like Adobe Systems, publishing details of its Flash specs to the world but being very careful not open source the code.

2015 is seven years away and why Ramji picked this date is not clear. Perhaps, because it has taken a good seven years for IBM, Oracle, Adobe and others to devise their current stances on open source. While these companies have yet to fully open up to open source, Microsoft is behind them in terms of having a positive corporate attitude and consistent - if limited - strategy on engagement. That's thanks to the fact it's held out for so long.

The challenge for Microsoft - thanks to its size, product diversity and an unpredictable management stance on open source - is to use the next seven years to not just pull level with IBM, Oracle et al by 2015 in its corporate policy, but to actually overtake them.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.