Microsoft Reaches Out to Open-Source Community
A Microsoft lawyer says the company wants to build bridges with the open source community. Eric Raymond sums up what needs to happen:
"Nobody in the open-source world expects Microsoft to open-source their core products; given their business model that would be insane," Raymond said. "But, realistically, they could do some important things. One, open up their file formats. That is, fully document things like the Microsoft Word and Windows Media formats, and make a binding promise not to sue people who write software to interoperate with them," he said. "Two, put down the patent weapon. Do as IBM has, and offer their software patents under royalty-free, paperwork-free license to open-source projects. Three, support open technical standards, rather than sabotaging them. Microsoft has a history of destructive meddling at organizations like the IETF and W3C, and of attempting to hijack standards like Kerberos by making them dependent on proprietary 'extensions.' Simply not doing this would be a huge improvement."