By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-04-05 Print this article Print

The majority of enterprises, OEMs, system integrators, global governments and Microsoft MVPs (Most Valued Professionals) do not want access to Windows source code, Matusow said. He cited the fact that of the 6,700 eligible to view Windows source code, only 450 organizations with a total of about 1,000 engineers are doing so. This breaks down to roughly 50 enterprise customers, most with several engineers looking at the code; about 200 MVPs; 40 governments; and 60 system integrators and OEMs. Matusow said it has been interesting to look at the number of downloads of open code versus the number of active contributors to the companys WiX (Windows Installer XML) project, a tool set that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code. This project was very helpful to Microsoft as it was a collaborative environment, he said. But while there have been some 120,000 downloads of the code since it was released last April, only about 30 people were actively contributing to the project, he added.
With regard to the Windows Template Library, a library for developing Windows applications and user interface components, there have been about 30,000 code downloads.
Meanwhile, there have been 13,000 downloads for its FlexWiki experimental collaboration tool based on WikiWiki, which is a tool for collaborating on common Web pages. There was also only a small group of contributors to both of these projects, he said. Read more here about Microsofts FlexWiki tool. All three of the projects are licensed under the OSI (Open Source Initiative)-approved CPL (Common Public License). By contrast, there have been more than 250,000 downloads of the CE.Net and CE 5.0 source code, which gave access to most of the core operating system under the Shared Source premium distribution license and to which the developer owned the copyright to the derivative licenses, Matusow said. Microsoft also released the IronPython 0.6 source code under the CPL last year. But this month it released IronPython 0.7.1—the early, prealpha release of the new implementation of the Python programming language running on .Net—as a free download. It is now licensed under the Shared Source License for IronPython and not under the Common Public License Version 1.0 under which IronPython 0.6 was licensed. Matusow said the inclusion of the source code under the new license was done to encourage the development of extensions and add-ons to the language. "It is a BSD-style redistribution license that allows code modification and redistribution without the requirement to give those modifications back. We have used this license before on Microsofts GotDotNet workspaces site [Microsofts alternative to SourceForge, the open-source software development Web site]," he said. Asked why Microsoft has used so many different licenses, Matusow said that while the company is not resistant to using open-source licenses, and has done so with the CPL, the software remains its intellectual property and must be licensed the way Microsoft feels is best. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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