We did a double take this week when we saw that Aras' new Innovator 8 product lifecycle management suite was being touted in the media as "Microsoft enterprise open source" or "Microsoft-based open source."
"Weird," was the first thing that came to mind, followed shortly thereafter by, "Is that even possible?" This is, after all, the software company whose management once called open source a cancer, and at its fringes, the open source movement exists to do away with such proprietary software shops.
Granted, last year's agreements between Microsoft and Novell are proof that the two sides are at least taking steps toward middle ground, but we couldn't imagine a situation in which Microsoft would actually allow its code to be given away for free. Nevertheless, we kept reading. Thankfully, a Design News piece clarified that Aras' goal is to provide a PLM suite that can be integrated with Microsoft's products.
That makes a little more sense, but still, the concept of "Microsoft open source" seems like an oxymoron. However, this piece from IT Jungle points out the very thing we couldn't put our finger on: Innovator 8 is released under the Microsoft Community License, which has not been approved by the Open Source Initiative as an open source license. That and the fact that Innovator is only available for Windows "could cause a backlash" among the open source faithful, the story says.
Merriam-Webster defines "backlash" as "a sudden, violent backward movement or reaction" or "a strong adverse reaction." Given the history between the two camps, we wouldn't be surprised.