Friday, September 16, 2005

MSFT Uses Open Source - It Must be Chilly Down There Today

In 2001, Steve Ballmer famously declared: "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." In was perceived as a first step in MSFT's all out assault on open source.

As evidence of how far open source has come, an eWeek story reports today that MSFT is openly talking about the use of the Message Passing Interface in its Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition.

Peter Galli reports that Kyril Faenov, Microsoft's director for High Performance Computing, said, "Actually, we are probably the first team at Microsoft that will actually ship an open-source component inside of our solution, but we haven't made a lot of noise around this yet," he said.

Also in eWeek, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports that, while it may be the first time MSFT has been so open about its use of open source, it's not really the first time Redmond has crossed over to the light side:

One of technology's dirty little not-so-secret secrets is that Microsoft has been using open-source software since the early '90s in its TCP/IP network stack.

SJVN closes with his fervent wish that MSFT has learned a thing or two:

Am I wrong, or is there a lesson here?

Can it be that open-source really is a great way to create software?

Can it be that even Microsoft has finally figured that out?

You know what? I think it has.

Time will tell.




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