Microsoft to expand upon source-code sharing Thursday

Microsoft Corp. will explain its philosophy on sharing its source code in a speech in New York on Thursday, the company said.

It is also expected to announce plans to extend its program for sharing its source code with business partners, according to a report published in the Thursday edition of The Wall Street Journal newspaper.

Microsoft Senior Vice President, Craig Mundie, is scheduled to give a speech entitled " Commercial Software Model and Microsoft's Shared Source Philosophy" with students and faculty at New York University's Stern School of Business at noon EDT, a Microsoft spokeswoman said, although she declined to give details of the speech.

In recent months, Microsoft has allowed outsiders increased access to some of its software source code, including that for its Windows 2000 operating system. Historically, Microsoft has been an outspoken critic of open source software, a movement which grants users of software complete access to the source code used to create it, including the right to change and redistribute the software. Microsoft has claimed this is a negative force on innovation as well as "an intellectual property destroyer". A letter published by the online newsletter Linux Weekly News and attributed to open-source evangelist and Open Source Initiative head Eric Raymond claimed Microsoft's source-sharing initiatives are a scam aimed at recruiting free labor.

"Microsoft wants all the 'sharing' to be in one direction. What they're doing is what we call 'source under glass' -- you can see it, but you can't modify or reuse it in other programs. They want to be able to get the huge benefit of having thousands of outside people review their code without allowing any of those people to use what they learn on other projects," said the letter, available at

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