back to article Microsoft pledges love and money to open source

After years of hostility towards Free Software Foundation (FSF) licensing (here and here) Microsoft has announced the first in a series of PHP patches - and it's using an FSF license. Microsoft told The Reg it's submitted a patch to the community for the ADOdb database abstraction library for PHP to add support for the PHP SQL …


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  1. Robert Moore

    April 1?

    It has to be. The date on my computer must be wrong.

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The MS-Linux distribution has not been release yet...

    MS using the LGPL is not newsworthy - LGPL is compatible with binary distribution, lock-in, embrace-extend-extinguish and all the other tactics MS depends on. You find that license on parts of the tool chain (compiler+assembler+C-library) that get linked to all compiled programs. Without it, it would be very difficult to distribute any closed source software for GNU/Linux.

    MS contributing to Apache while IIS still exists is a suprise. At a wild guess, they are only contributing software that adds value only to MS software users.

    Understandable really: They screwed up badly with Vista. They announced that all the interesting features of Windows7 have been cancelled to get a Vista <strike>rename</strike>replacement out the door as soon as hardware can cope with it. Adding some value to their products sound like an excellent use of their resources considering the current value of Vista is negative. (Why else would machines with Vista pre-installed cost less than the same machine with linux?)

    I do not see this as a sign that MS is moving to open source. I am sure that day will come, but MS have plenty of kicking and screaming to do before their customers drag them into the 21st century.

  3. Gerry

    What The Hell?

    M$ cosying up to ASF? And, possibly, Eclipse? What's going on? Has hell frozen over already?

    This is worrying;-) No sooner has Bilious Gates departed than M$ start going straight.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    well done Microsoft, over time they will hopefully just aid in making things more compatible.

    I cannot help thinking if MS had just played ball a bit from the start, as Linux was emerging Linux would have a tiny market share today, and it would only be the techies on it. By causing so many problems MS instigated the wars, instead they could have just been dipping in for a library or two, bit of base functionality and open source would not have gained as much traction.

    But, it is not just MS it was the whole let's have only one piece of software, and not reinvent the wheel mob, who were all for pushing such a stagnant computer environment on people. It would just never be accepted by coders.

    Well time will tell if MS are starting to accept that opensource plays a vital role in the software eco system, if they start to put in blockers, then off it all goes again.

  5. Fred

    Beware of geeks bearing gifts

    As true today as it always has been

  6. Peter Lenz
    Gates Halo

    What in the clippy!

    Did I just fall through a wormhole into Bizarro world?

  7. Patrick O'Reilly

    Watch it....

    Looks like Microsoft's old subversion technique. They'll get in bed with them, under their skin, and then fuck them over.

    It's playing with fire

  8. Dunstan Vavasour

    GPL and LGPL

    Microsoft have always made a distinction between GPL and other free (libre) software licences. They have a dogmatic problem with GPL because it is designed to ensure any software which is linked to it is also GPL - which does not facilitate the co-existence of free (libre) and non-free software. If you are RMS and believe that non-free software should not be closely associated and linked with free software this makes perfect sense - a position with which I agree - but for a seller of proprietary software it is obviously anathema.

    So there is a body of free software which end users are running alongside Microsoft software. While much of it is GPL (which Microsoft will not touch) some of it is licensed under other arrangements (BSD, LGPL, Public Domain).

    Microsoft is under the legal cosh, and has been convicted of abusing its monopoly position. It is also seeing public sector organisations looking for open alternatives to its secret file formats and wire protocols. Indeed, the whole debacle of OOXML and ISO was an attempt to be perceived as having an open file format in order to safeguard its position in this sector. So adding further to its "open" credentials without embracing or abetting the full fat GPL is not at all surprising, it is an essential tactic for prolonging its monopoly in the desktop OS and "productivity suite" market.

    Does this signal a fundamental change in Microsoft's relationship with free (libre) software? Not really - free software is still attempting to replace Microsoft offerings, not complement them. But do we expect to see more engagement of this limited kind between Microsoft and non-GPL free software? I expect so.

  9. norman

    I knew him well

    RIP Apache becomes A Patchy.....

    The easy way for MS to kill Apache, is to patch it as often as Windows.

  10. Nick Charlton
    Thumb Down


    It's a PR trick. It's there to make their dwindling image after the Vista fiasco look better. They do say though, you can't polish a turd...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Sign of the apocalypse?

    It'll be sheep lying down with goats next - I'm warning you.....

  12. Jason Haas

    First comment has my thought

    Robert Moore said it first: was today April 1st? It's not, right?......

    even El Reg's graphics want it to be 1 April!

  13. kevin biswas

    three little words...

    Embrace And Extend...........

  14. Matt

    now the EEEPC linux shortages make sense.

    Looks like the 901 XP version names MS's policy (embrace, extend, extinguish) without admitting it..... can't believe I missed it until now

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Its a shame

    That m$ will never publish any of the sauce code to windows... for one thing the open sauce boys would fix it so it worked .... and secondly we'd all be able to see how much open sauce code m$ pilfered for windows...

  16. K
    Thumb Down

    lmao ... "it's submitted a patch to the community for the ADOdb"

    If they want to see Windows taken seriously as a web platform then they're gonna have to do far more than this - simple token gestures just don't do it.

    If they really want a love-in, they can start by flashing some proper cash and developing a decent Windows API module for PHP, then some decent documentation.

  17. J
    Black Helicopters


    "it is a recognition of the rival Apache HTTP Web Server's enduring number-one status on the web and Microsoft's desire to have it run on Windows instead of Linux servers"

    The only license I know in detail is the GPL, where Embrace-Extend-Extinguish is not possible. How about the Apache license? Would it be possible under it?

  18. Jesse Dorland
    Gates Horns

    Don't trust Micro$oft

    The only way microsoft can gain any of my trust is by relasing source code of all of their older operating system "windows 3.11 to windows 2000", and older MS OFFICE, and they must be done under GPL.

    And then release an open source operating system; say windows 98SE, running on Linux kernel.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    "Beware Greeks bearing gifts."

    As per title....

  20. Bruce Sinton
    Jobs Horns

    Geeks bearing Gifts

    Yes Fred,

    Beware of dragging that Trojan Horse inside.

    It will have Monkey Man hiding in there with other MS barbarians , ready to slaughter you , just when you thought you were safe.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    raving monkey boy said

    he would bury google.

    Let's see what happens next.

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