I'm not sure people here agree with me. But i think microsoft is moving towards Opensource and Free software movement slowly.
IMHO: If they are, it is only to get close enough to hit the F/OSS community over the head when it least expects it.
But seriously, as long as Ballmer and Microsoft persist in sending mixed messages about patent infringement, I doubt any move by Microsoft towards the OSS community should be construed as completely friendly.
Microsoft has been repeatedly asked to formally renounce any potential patent claims that may exist between itself and the FOSS/Linux community.
To date, they have consistently refused to do so despite a great deal of ambiguous and waffling PR talk that tries to portray their position otherwise.
And their licensing arrangements with certain distro developers has succeeded in doing little more than to drive a very large wedge into the whole Linux community.
Having worked with Microsoft in the past, my experience leads me to believe that if
they are moving towards an accommodation with Linux, it will be either under Microsoft's own terms - or not at all.
I'm not the world's deepest thinker, but I don't see how you can reconcile the goals and behaviors of a free and open software community with that of a multi-billion dollar corporation whose dominant global position depends on their continued control of a closed, proprietary software product family.
But why should they do otherwise? They didn't get to where they are today by playing nicely with others.
And despite all the negative things said about Microsoft, the one thing you'll never hear anybody call them is "stupid" or "weak." Microsoft combines the ruthless mindset of an entrepreneurial venture with the financial and political clout of a megacorp - which makes them a very formidable factor in the software world.
And as far as the Win7 beta is concerned, I think that it came about more as a "smart business" move than anything else. Especially when viewed in light of the whole Vista debacle.
I don't have any personal axe to grind with Microsoft. I have a lot of respect for them as a business
, even though I am less impressed with their products. But when it comes to business, Microsoft will always
watch out for numero uno
. They wouldn't be Microsoft otherwise.