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Microsoft To Open Source: Letís Chat

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-02

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A recently extended invitation from the Redmond-based software titan to the open source community calls for discussion and bridge building.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel speaking at a Maryland conference, made the offer Friday.

"We're going to have to figure out how to build some bridges between the various parts of our industry," said Mr. Smith. "We're going to have to figure out how we can bring the various parts of our industry closer together."

Microsoft will not be yielding patents any time soon though. But the invitation still received a favorable reaction from one noted open source proponent, Eric Raymond, author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

"Nobody in the open-source world expects Microsoft to open-source their core products; given their business model that would be insane," Mr. Raymond said.

"But, realistically, they could do some important things. One, open up their file formats. That is, fully document things like the Microsoft Word and Windows Media formats, and make a binding promise not to sue people who write software to interoperate with them," he said.



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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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