Can Microsoft Ever Be Accepted by the Linux Community?
Once, the CEO of the company for which I worked had a bright idea. He would sponsor a young open source software coder for the summer, and, in return, the coder would assign the copyright of his application to the company.
Fortunately, the young coder consulted some lawyers in his family, and refused. His application went on to become a basic tool in the administration of the free desktop. The company, like so many in the Dot-com era that tried to prey upon free software, went bankrupt. The last I heard, the CEO was a supplier to health food stores.
The situation was one of several that caused me to quit the company. But I have flashbacks whenever I see Microsoft maneuvering around free software. When Microsoft alternately tries to attack free software -- for instance, by attempting to sell patents that may affect Linux to patent trolls -- and to ingratiate itself -- for instance, by creating the open source CodePlex Foundation -- I see simply a large scale version of the CEO's behavior.
Both are examples of corporate efforts to exploit free and open source software (FOSS) without changing traditional business practices. Both exhibit a kind of arrogance, as though nobody has attempted such exploitation before -- and as though the community had its collective head too high in the clouds to understand what was being attempted.