One Step Forward, Two Massive Steps Backward

Microsoft is still just flirting with Open Source and Standards. For every one step forward there seems to be two steps backwards in dealing with Open Systems. And this week saw two massive steps backwards. But first, the one step forward.

Microsoft is considering, is pondering, is contemplating how to open WinForms.

Now the Two Massive Steps Backwards

OASIS, one of the key organizations creating Web Services standards has just recommended a policy that the Open Source community – in rare signed agreement among such parties as the Apache Foundation, Richard Stallman, Sun Microsystems, RedHat Incorporated, OReilly Associates, and others – openly condemned. See the report here at eWeek and here at OReilly. Fingers are not being pointed as to who and how the OASIS patent policy slipped through – but the weather vane seems to be pointing W-by-NW.

There is no argument however as to who is responsible for the current second step backward and the WGA debacle. WGA-Windows Genuine Advantage is test software that will be included in all Microsoft update software and which will purportedly check for legitimate copies of Windows OS (no piracy please)before allowing downloads or updates to Microsoft software. Currently the WGA beta rejects emulation software such as the popular Open Source tool WINE which allows some but not all Windows software to run in Linux and Unix. Microsoft insists that WGA is designed to protect Microsoft apps intended to run on Win2000 and Win XP software “from virtualized Windows systems” but for some reason security patches and updates will be allowed. see press commentary here and here.

More and more we see a company retreating behind a Monopoly fortress where the only choices are what the Best Minds in Armonk …oops sorry that was IBMs mainframe monopoly-based SAA strategy from a decade and half ago that was scorned by the upstart guys and gals from all places, Redmond.

(c)JBSurveyer 2005