Microsoft Concedes They've Been Cheeting All Along

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| Microsoft: still a bunch of gangsters.

Antitrust: Commission takes note of Microsoft's announcement on
interoperability principles

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| The European Commission takes note of today's announcement by Microsoft of
| its intention to commit to a number of principles in order to promote
| interoperability with some of its high market share software products. This
| announcement does not relate to the question of whether or not Microsoft has
| been complying with EU antitrust rules in this area in the past.

Red Hat Statement on Microsoft Announcement

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| Commit to interoperability with open source: Instead of offering a patent
| license for its protocol information on the basis of licensing arrangements
| it knows are incompatible with the GPL – the world’s most widely used open
| source software license – Microsoft should extend its Open Specification
| Promise to all of the interoperability information that it is announcing
| today will be made available.

Freewash, fake beards, and the enclosure of the software commons

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| The 20th February 2008 was one of those 'Microsoft moments', when suddenly,
| the world changed. Just like when they 'got' the network (and we got NT), or
| they 'got' the Internet (and we got 'Internet Explorer'). This time
| they 'got' Open Source and Open Standards and the company is about to make
| another of their legendary radical transformations... or so they would like
| you to believe.
| [...]
| So you can have your 'Open Source' software if you really insist... just so
| long as you pay a royalty to Microsoft for every copy that gets shipped. It's
| great if all those 'non-commercial' people want to develop software for
| Microsoft and their ring-fenced group of 'authorised' 'Open Source' partners.
| They generously promise that they wont even sue their unpaid workforce.

Microsoft Gets Open Source Religion – Or Maybe Not

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| Note, by the way, that Microsoft has effected the marvellous sleight of hand
| that it – not the OSI, not the Linux Foundation, but *Microsoft* – is setting
| up an Open Source Interoperability Initiative.
| In some ways, the most amazing paragraph in the whole announcement is not the
| protestations of undying love for openness, but the following:
| "The interoperability principles and actions announced today reflect the
| changed legal landscape for Microsoft and the IT industry. They are an
| important step forward for the company in its ongoing efforts to fulfill the
| responsibilities and obligations outlined in the September 2007 judgment of
| the European Court of First Instance (CFI)."
| This is certainly true, as shown by the fact that Microsoft is effectively
| applying the agreement with the EU to most of its product range...

EU regulators cool on Microsoft open-source move

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| But Mark Taylor from the Open Source Consortium said the Microsoft
| announcement is "smoke and mirrors."
| "Microsoft is saying it will give access to open APIs, however, but there are
| terms," said Taylor. "It's the same old story. Patent protection applies, and
| people can use the APIs commercially as long as they pay Microsoft a royalty.
| They are trying to enclose open commons by trying to apply their business
| model, which is all about owning technology, to open source."