Getting at Windows Source
With echoes from Jim Allchin's attacks on open-source development models still reverberating, Microsoft moved in recent weeks to quietly expand its Enterprise Source Licensing ProgramWith echoes from Jim Allchins attacks on open-source development models, particularly the GNU General Public License, still reverberating, Microsoft moved in recent weeks to quietly expand its Enterprise Source Licensing Program. The pilot program, which makes Windows 2000 client and server source code available only to the companys largest corporate users, is not yet an open-source development model, but it moves more in that direction than Microsoft has ever gone before. Wed like to see Microsoft go further. Only about 1,000 Microsoft customers are eligible so far (to be eligible, a customer must have at least 1,500 Windows 2000 licenses), but even this small a group can make a difference. The ability to track down an infuriating bug and nail it to the wall is what enterprise developers demand to keep pace with e-business timetables.
Thats one of the things in it for Microsoft, which has never shied from getting free help from customers to make its job easier. The huge beta programs Microsoft carries out are close cousins of the come-and-get-it download free-for-all that ensues when a new version of the Linux kernel is posted or a beta of a newer Linux distribution is released.