Microsoft to Release Third Open-Source Project

The Redmond software maker is set to make available more of its code under an open-source license on Tuesday.

Microsoft is preparing to release a third piece of code under an open-source license via the SourceForge code repository on Tuesday.

Both Microsoft and SourceForge have been hinting for some time that they plan to release more code this way. Earlier this year, Microsoft made its Windows Installer XML and Windows Template Library technologies available under the Common Public License (CPL), a bona fide open-source license.

/zimages/3/28571.gifThe Windows Template Library is used for developing applications and user interface components. Read more here about its release into the open-source repository.

To date, Microsoft has made its source code available under a variety of licensing mechanisms, all under its "shared source" umbrella. The new project, like the previous two, also will be under the auspices of Redmonds shared-source initiative, said sources informed of the deal.

Executives with Microsoft and with SourceForge both declined to comment on the announcement. The pair agreed to an embargo deal with another news outlet and would not comment before midnight Pacific time, said an official familiar with the announcement terms.

Industry insiders have offered a variety of speculation on what software Microsoft might open-source next — as well as about the companys motives in providing its code in an open license.

/zimages/3/28571.gifMicrosoft is targeting the data center for its Windows-Linux competition. Click here for more on its Mission Critical Microsoft program.

While developers have called on Microsoft to open-source everything from Windows to Office, its likely that the company will choose again a smaller and lesser-known technology for its third SourceForge project.

/zimages/3/28571.gifMicrosoft recently opened its Office source code to governments. Read more here about the plan.">

One possibility: Microsofts Enterprise Library from its Patterns & Practices Group.

The Enterprise Library is a revised version of the existing Patterns & Practices Application Blocks. Application Blocks are collections of reusable software components. The 1.0 release of Enterprise Library — which Microsoft is developing in conjunction with systems integrator Avanade Inc., of Seattle— is designed to make the refreshed releases of the most widely used blocks available as a single, integrated download.

Microsoft plans to make the Enterprise Library available as shared source, Scott Densmore, software design engineer in the Patterns & Practices group, told Microsoft Watch in August. But Densmore also acknowledged that "theres talk of putting this code out on SourceForge as open source."

/zimages/3/28571.gifTo read the full Microsoft Watch story, click here.

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