Microsoft buddies up to open source "census": Conspiracy?

Microsoft isn't part of a vast anti-open source conspiracy. It's not nearly that ambitious.

Dave thinks it's a conspiracy. Michael Tiemann thinks it's evidence that Open Logic and/or Microsoft have no idea what the word "census" means ("the procedure of acquiring information about every member of a given population").

Me? I think Microsoft just wants to be associated with any good-hearted open-source effort, so that it can appear...good hearted, without actually engaging open source in any deep, meaningful way.

I don't begrudge Microsoft playing at the edges of open source, and think highly of Sam Ramji and others involved. But the way to participate in an open-source community is not to sponsor surveys or shows. It's to write code and contribute it, preferably with and to those that don't work in Redmond, Washington.

Microsoft is not a bad company. At least, most of the people comprising the company are not bad. If anything, Microsoft is becoming soft in its old age and lacks fire and ambition (or, at least, the will to achieve its ambition). Efforts like this just underline its decline as it tries to purchase (open-source credibility) what it lacks the stomach to earn through the currency of open source: Code.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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