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James Dixon’s thoughts on commercial open source and open source business intelligence

Archive for July 2009

Microsoft not changing Open Source strategy with GPL drivers

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The recent release of some drivers under a GPL V2  license has got some people jumping up and down with excitement that Microsoft is changing its open source strategy.

Given that Microsoft was violating the GPL by not putting the drivers into open source the truth seems a little rosy.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/23/microsoft_hyperv_gpl_violation/

My guess is that, when faced with the situation, they only had a few choices:

1) Withdraw the drivers – and withdraw from that market.

2) Fight the GPL in court. This would directly contradict Microsoft’s stated position and generate a huge amount of negative press.

3) Put the drivers out under GPL V2, and turn it into a PR win. There is probably not much code, and no patented code in the drivers, but they would have checked this first.

Given these three options I think they chose the one that was the least painful. Hardly a change in strategy.

Written by James

July 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm