Microsoft clarifies open-source certification plans

Just two to go before the Open Source Initiative

Microsoft clarified its plans to seek open-source certification for its shared-source licenses on Wednesday, saying it will submit for approval only the two licenses that allow source code to be used on any platform.

Microsoft announced last week that it would offer its shared-source licenses, which it uses to release source code for free use, to the Open Source Initiative (OSI) for potential ratification as a legitimate method for open-source developers to share their work.

However, OSI President Michael Tiemann said in an interview published Monday that not all of Microsoft's five licenses appeared to pass the OSI's muster.

In particular, several "limited" versions of the licenses required that code or applications run only on Windows PCs. That, Tiemann said, contravened one of the OSI's fundamental tenets: that the licenses not restrict users' ability to run the code in any way.

Through a spokeswoman, Microsoft said that it only plans to submit the Microsoft Permissive License and the Microsoft Community License -- not the limited versions of those licenses nor the Microsoft Reference License, which also restricts usage to Windows PCs.

She also confirmed that Microsoft will not make any changes to the licenses before submitting them to the OSI. The organization has approved 50 open-source licenses since it was founded nine years ago, including the General Public License used by the Linux operating system, the Mozilla Public License used by the Firefox Web browser, as well as many others from non-open-source vendors, such as CA, RealNetworks and Apple.

Faced with pressure from the open-source community over a glut of licenses, the OSI has drastically cut down on new license approvals in the past several years.

But Tiemann promised a fair hearing for Microsoft and said that the application will be accepted or rejected based on the merits of the shared-source licenses themselves.

The process is expected to take three to four months. Readers who wish to read and submit comments can apply to join the OSI's License-Discuss listserv at license-discuss-subscribe@opensource.org.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?