On Mon, 19 Sep 2005 16:01:36 +0100, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> __/ [mlw] on Monday 19 September 2005 11:18 \__
> I suggest that you also read the following:
> "Mr. Gates' secret is out now--he too was a "communist;"
> he, too, recognized that software patents were harmful--until
> Microsoft became one of these giants."
> Microsoft also employed the TCP/IP stack implementation from BSD in the
> early ninetees. This is by no means the first time they take interest in
> Open Source software. I tried to find the link to this, which I was
> referred to from The Register a couple of days ago. I couldn't find it
Microsoft has shipped Open Source before. GPL'd stuff is included in
Services for Unix, however this is a legacy product they bought from
another vendor. They didn't choose to develop it with open source.
They did choose to use open source libraries, like zlib. However, zlib has
essentailly the old MIT X license (do whatever you want, just don't sue
us). Also, Microsoft has released several projects under a BSD style
license in the past (Front Page extensions for Unix, for instance).
The BSD TCP/IP stack wasn't open source. It was licensed from Spider
software, who in turn had probably obtained a commercial license from
Berkeley. This is reflected in the copyrights visible in the code (1983)
which predates the first open source release of BSD (Networking Release 1)
by 6 years. In 1983, you still had to buy an AT&T license to use BSD, and
had to get a commercial BSD license to reuse any of their code. Also, 1983
indicates very early code, since TCP/IP wasn't even included in a BSD
release until 4.2BSD in 1983 (well, technically there was 4.1a which had a
"Only in 1989, however, could UC Berkeley release versions of its operating
system and networking library free from the licensing constraints of the
Open Group's copyright-protected UNIX operating system."
Of course the code became open source later, but the code MS used was
clearly licensed under a commercial license.