Microsoft creates open source foundation!!!

Microsoft has created the non-profit CodePlex Foundation to target increased communication between open source communities and software companies. Citing an under representation of commercial software companies and their employees in open source, the CodePlex Foundation aims to work with particular projects to bridge the gap between open source and commercial worlds. This is an unexpected and interesting move from Redmond. Don’t think that this is completely like other open source foundations that you may be used to though.

One question which bugged me initially was that why did Microsoft need to go out and establish yet another foundation in the open source world, when there are numerous ones such as Open Source Initiative, Free Software Foundation, SourceForge or even the Apache Foundation?? But once I looked at the About page which says that companies will contribute code and not patents, I realized that this will stop the existing open source community from going anywhere near the CodePlex Foundation.

I can’t see any patent-encumbered CodePlex project being accepted into, or contributing code into, any large existing open source project while still having the patent spectre looming overhead — it’s something that the open source community has tried to avoid whenever possible.

I feel that this Foundation would target purely Microsoft companies/developers and attempt to get them to open up a little. Allowing these companies to keep their patents will make it easier for them to engage in the Microsoft ecosystem but not in the wider open source world.