Why Microsoft Loves GPL 3.0: Changing Strategies
Two Slashdot posts and a long meeting with Microsoft really got me to thinking about whether Microsoft really likes, or doesn’t like, the new GPL version and how its strategy, with regard to open source in general, has been changing over the past few years.
It got me thinking about four facts: Buyers don’t like change; the new IT priority is interoperability; IT likes simple homogeneity (it often seems they’d like to return to one big mainframe); and IT is not a line organization (and has no line authority). Knowing that, I immediately understood Microsoft’s strategy and why, while it would never use it, it loves the 3.0 version of the GPL.
Going into this decade, Microsoft was still on a path of being largely closed with an overarching strategy that its tools would work best, or only, with other Microsoft tools. Microsoft ran against any concept that reduced its ability to protect the products it had developed and the ecosystem it had so painstakingly put in place.
However, that was not working, so its strategy had to change. IT buyers increasingly were demanding to see Microsoft’s code, and Microsoft seemed to be getting less and less of the UNIX migration opportunities. New employees increasingly advocated the benefits of open source, and as a competitive response, Microsoft hired aggressively from the open source community, creating a new decision core in the company.
Read more: ITBusinesEdge