Microsoft and Open Source Do Go Together

At the O'Reilly Open Systems Convention last week, Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy Bill Hilf announced that the company was going to submit its shared source licenses to the Open Source Initiative for inclusion in its list of open source licenses. Most of the software covered by these licenses are used on software available from CodePlex, Microsoft's open source project hosting Web site.

The Open Source Initiative currently has listed approximately 58 licenses that meet its definition for open source software. However, any license that restricts source code to running only on the Windows operating system would not qualify as an open source license as defined by this organization.

So don't look for Windows to be distributed under an open source license any time soon.

Do you think Microsoft should try to participate in the open source community through the shared source licenses? Let me know at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

The European Union Cites Intel for Illegal Competition
After a six-year investigation, the European Union has released a "statement of objections" that claims Intel has abused its dominant market position in the EU. According to the statement, Intel has offered rebates to PC makers that agree to buy the majority of their processors from Intel, made payments to some manufacturers if they agreed to delay or cancel products using AMD processors, and sold processors below cost when bidding against AMD.

This finding seems to support AMD's current lawsuit against Intel, currently in its discovery phase. However, both the lawsuit and any EU conclusion are still years off.

Do you have a preference in your processor vendor? Tell me why at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Can the Community Build a Better Search Engine?
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said at the Open Source Convention last week that he's getting ready to lay the groundwork for a community-developed Web search service.

Wales' commercial company, Wikia, has acquired Grub, a Web crawler that will enable this search service to index relevant Web sites. Through a combination of automated indexing, algorithm-based search and retrieval, and human editing, Wales believes that such a search engine can rival today's major players -- Google and Yahoo. The code itself will be open source.

Does the world need a community search engine? Send me your thoughts at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Peter Varhol is the executive editor, reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.

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