OSCON News: Microsoft Puts Money and Support into Open Source


Microsoft made a couple of interesting announcements concerning its relationship to open source projects at last week's O'Reilly Open Source Convention ( OSCON ):

Microsoft Sends Financial Love to Apache Software Foundation

eWeek and The Register report that Microsoft has now become a sponsor of the Apache Software Foundation . The foundation supports the Apache web server and many other open-source projects .

Sponsorship Puts Redmond in Exclusive Company

Microsoft's sponsorship is at the Platinum level ($100,000/year), where it joins Google and Yahoo!

Not Just Money, Patches for Open Source Projects

These sources also report that Microsoft is also providing a patch that provides ADOdb database abstraction layer support for the PHP SQL driver developed in conjunction with Zend Technologies. What may be more significant to open-source advocates is that Microsoft is licensing the patch under the Free Software Foundation 's lesser GPL ( LGPL ) licensing terms. This appears to be the first time that Microsoft has licensed code using a FSF licensing agreement.

What's In It for Microsoft?

According to The Register :

The decision to work on PHP fits with the overall strategy of improving the language's interoperability with Windows and stemming the loss of PHP application deployments to Linux. LGPL allows code to be used with proprietary programs - such as SQL Server - unlike its GPL cousin.

What Say You?

Whether you're a developer or a user, what do you think about Microsoft's newfound interest in at least limited cooperation with open source programs and projects?

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