Microsoft starts distributing open-source Drupal

The software maker, whose CEO has called open-source code like that of Linux a "cancer," may have just become one of the world's biggest distributors of open-source software.

The single biggest distributor of Drupal just might be Microsoft. As I discovered from Dries Buytaert's blog on Wednesday, Microsoft's Web Application Installer comes with out-of-the-box support for Drupal, OScommerce, and other popular open-source Web applications.

The Web Application Installer Beta is designed to help get you up and running with the most widely used Web applications freely available for your Windows Server. Web AI provides support for popular ASP.net and PHP Web applications, including Graffiti, DotNetNuke, WordPress, Drupal, OSCommerce, and more.

With just a few simple clicks, Web AI will check your machine for the necessary prerequisites, download these applications from their source location in the community, walk you through basic configuration items, and then install them on your computer.

While this doesn't technically make Microsoft a distributor of these open-source "bits," it comes pretty darn close, and it arguably puts Microsoft on the legal hook for this open-source code. I personally think that's a safe bet, but then, I don't work for Microsoft, a company whose CEO has called open-source code like that of Linux a "cancer."

Times change, and so does the rhetoric?

Anyway, it's good to see Microsoft recognizing the obvious: the world's best Web applications don't come from Microsoft. They're open source, and they carry funky labels like "Drupal," "DotNetNuke," and so on.

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