Microsoft Corp. is preparing to expand its "shared-source" initiatives, through which partners are allowed a peek at the prized Windows operating-system source code, but the company remains opposed to the open-source ethos, and it particularly scorns the popular GNU General Public License (GPL), a Microsoft executive said Thursday.
In a speech delivered to about 150 people at New York University's Stern School of Business, Microsoft's Craig Mundie, the company's senior vice president of advanced strategies, outlined the company's new initiatives, while arguing that many developers using the GPL don't really understand what they're getting into.
The GPL requires that work developed using code covered by the license also be available for no more than the cost of distribution. The license is "an attempt to create a vortex that pulls a lot of other peoples' intellectual property in ... (and) ultimately undermines intellectual property," Mundie said.
By contrast, Microsoft's strategy is to allow a few select partners access to its source code, without allowing those partners to modify the code in any way, Mundie said. That approach satisfies most customers, who are far more interested in interoperability and open standards than open source code, he said.
Microsoft will announce Thursday that its Enterprise Source Licensing Program will be expanded to 12 additional countries, Mundie said. He also said that within the year Microsoft will begin licensing its Windows source code to top-tier ISVs, (independent software vendors), and that in the second half of 2001 the company will begin offering academic site licenses for Windows CE source code.