Microsoft now sponsor of Open Source Census

Microsoft is now a sponsor of the Open Source Census, an effort to track open-source installations worldwide

Microsoft has become a sponsor of The Open Source Census, a project started earlier this year that aims to track and catalog the use of open-source software in enterprises worldwide, the group announced Monday.

The company's "customers, partners and developers are working in increasingly heterogeneous environments," so participation in projects such as the census is relevant to the "ecosystem" in which Microsoft operates, said Sam Ramji, Microsoft' senior director of platform strategy, in a prepared statement.

It is the latest gesture by the Redmond software giant toward the open-source community, which has long regarded it as a bogeyman due to actions like its claim last year that open-source software violated more than 200 of its patents.

Ramji, who could not be reached for comment, is seen as a major driver behind Microsoft's gradually warming attitude -- at least publicly -- toward open source and interoperability.

It is important to balance open-mindedness with skepticism when thinking about Microsoft's open-source strategy, according to one observer.

"I've met with Sam and there's no question those guys are smart with what they're doing with open source," said Jay Lyman, an analyst with The 451 Group. "They definitely have changed. Is it genuine? Some of it is and some of it may be less so."

Microsoft's involvement could help the census gain interest from larger enterprises, Lyman noted. But at the same time, it may also draw ire from Microsoft's many critics, he added.

In addition to Microsoft, ActiveState, EnterpriseDB, Oregon State University's Open Source Lab and OSAlalt.com have also joined the effort, which provides a tool, from vendor OpenLogic, which a company can use to scan computers and spot installed open-source code. The scan data can then be pushed in anonymous form to the OSC's database.

Contributors can get reports that summarize their own use, as well as comparative data based on similar companies' results. Aggregated data untraceable to any company is available publicly.

More than 220,000 open-source packages or installations have been found during the two months since the effort launched, according to the site. But as of June 12, only about 1,300 machines had been scanned.

Lyman's firm is watching the census' progress closely to see whether it turns up enough data to provide a useful representative sample. "The theme from all accounts is that open-source usage is wildly underestimated," he said. "Maybe we'll get a better sense of that."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?