Microsoft - we'll take FLOSS - but without the "L" please

Is Microsoft committed to open source? In a word - it depends on your definition of commitent (ok, that's 7 words). I think they're (currently, and ephemerally) "committed" to FOSS, but in no way committed to FLOSS (a subtle distinction).

Interesting read over on FOSS Force, covering a presentation from MS employee and President of the Apache Foundation Ross Gardler on MS's perspective on FOSS.

At the end of the day, FOSS Force's Christine Hall rightly concludes that MS hasn't had "an 'a ha' moment", but is instead engaged out of necessity.

But is that "commitment"? Can you legitimately be a part of the open source community while actually disagreeing, fundamentally, with the underlying principles of openness, collaborative development,  and share-and-share-alike that make FOSS so potent?

Let's be clear - MS engages in FOSS for only mercenary reasons ... if it will make them more money, sure, they'll run Linux or LAMP stacks on Azure. But they in NO way are committed to that; the day that MS believes it can extinguish Linux (or Apache HTTP Server, sorry, Ross), they will enact the plan to do so.

Anyone disagree?  Anyone think MS's position involves more than a day-by-day marriage-of-convenience? That the principles of "Libre" have anything to do with their current policies?

#opensource #microsoft
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