David Mandl on Mon, 18 Jun 2001 14:24:49 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Microsoft Uses Open-Source Code Despite Denying Use of Such Software

Oh, baby...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Microsoft Uses Open-Source Code
Despite Denying Use of Such Software


Microsoft Corp., even while mounting a new campaign against
open-source software, has quietly been using such free computer code
in several major products, as well as on key portions of a popular Web
site -- despite denying last week that it did so.


Microsoft acknowledged its repeated use of open-source code Friday, in
response to questions about the matter. Just two days earlier, it had
specifically denied the existence of any such software at Hotmail.


In recent statements, Microsoft executives have argued that
open-source software is dangerous to companies using it, in large part
because of the licensing provisions that accompany the
software. Microsoft Vice President Craig Mundie, for example, said in
a recent speech that all open-source software "has inherent security
risks and can force intellectual property into the public domain."

But Microsoft's statements Friday suggest the company has itself been
taking advantage of the very technology it has insisted would bring
dire consequences to others.


The spokesman said FreeBSD was still in use simply because the company
had yet to switch the machines over to Windows.

But one employee of the Redmond, Wash., company said Microsoft has
deliberately kept FreeBSD in parts of Hotmail because of its technical
superiority over Windows in important functions and furthermore had
decided to actually increase its reliance on FreeBSD. Many of the
company's Web sites went down much of a day in January, and this
person said FreeBSD was judged to be better than Windows at helping to
prevent a recurrence of the problem.


Dave Mandl

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