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February, 2008:

Microsoft offing up another good laugh!

With all the anti competitive activities Microsoft is guilty of, here’s yet another twist in the saga of a company that is trying to make believe that they too are supporting OpenSource.

“To benefit from this promise, You must be a natural or legal person participating in the creation of software code for an open source project. An “open source project” is a software development project the resulting source code of which is freely distributed, modified, or copied pursuant to an open source license and is not commercially distributed by its participants. If You engage in the commercial distribution or importation of software derived from an open source project or if You make or use such software outside the scope of creating such software code, You do not benefit from this promise for such distribution or for these other activities.”

What they are saying is that you cannot use almost any commercial software. Except for developing non commercial software. It is apparently OK to use let’s say Microsoft tools to write code, but you better not use any Windows unless for developing, or since I don’t use Windows and closer to my own vest, something like CrossOver Office under Linux. Using a commercial SQL engine for Linux would disqualify me.

If you do, why then you are not an OpenSource developer and should not be protected from their promise of not being sued for violating their imaginary patents. My oh my what a nice twist.

Of course I’m sure they would not even be at this game of pretending to be OpenSource friendly if it was not for all the legal trouble they are in.

What was not so funny was another story showing MS business practices. This author was involved in the creation of the XML standard. His name is Tim Bray. This is a note from his blog

He refers to a friend of his who’s involved with OOXML.

“CNN picked up the story about Microsoft trying to retain Rick Jelliffe to
update the Wikipedia articles on ODF and OOXML for them, just as the ISO process around OOXML is getting in gear.

“Those with long memories might suggest a parallel between Rick’s position and mine when in 1997, I was sitting on the XML Working Group and co-editing the spec, on a pro bono basis as an indie consultant. Netscape hired me to represent their interests, and when I announced this, controversy ensued.

Which is a nice way of saying that Microsoft went berserk; tried
unsuccessfully to get me fired as co-editor, and then launched a vicious,
deeply personal extended attack in which they tried to destroy my career and took lethal action against a small struggling company because my wife worked there. It was a sideshow of a sideshow of the great campaign to bury Netscape and I’m sure the executives have forgotten; but I haven’t.