In a piece that begins by illustrating the differences between free software and open source software (he points out that Richard Stallman "doesn't do open source") and then discusses the evolution of open source as a philosophy and a business model, Guardian Unlimited's Jack Schofield makes an interesting point about Microsoft's approach to open source.
Since Microsoft made the announcement last week that it would be submitting its Shared Source licenses to the Open Source Initiative for approval, many -- including yours truly -- have asked what the software juggernaut is up to. First the company included patent provisions in its collaboration agreements with several Linux distributors. Then its execs categorically rejected the latest version of GPL. Now they want their own open source license? Alrighty, then.
But as Schofield notes, Microsoft sees open source as four different things: a philosophy, a software development method, a business model and a licensing system. And, in his words:
There's no chance of [Microsoft] adopting the business model or the philosophy, but it really would like to get more benefits from the software development model. If that requires an accommodation on licensing, it's willing to have a go.