Microsoft going open source?

By   |  April 30, 2007

News reports over the weekend suggested that Redmond software giant Microsoft was planning to release the source code for some of its software at its MIX 07 event this week.

MIX 07 is Microsoft’s conference for Web designers and developers working to develop consumer websites. MIX 07 starts today in Las Vegas.

In particular, according to sources quoted by PCWorld, Microsoft is expected to release portions of a beta of Silverlight at the event.

Silverlight is a recently unveiled browser plug-in that allows Web content providers to include rich video and interactive media directly in websites. “The technology leverages Vista’s new graphics framework, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and Microsoft is promoting it as a direct competitor to Adobe Systems’ Flash tool and delivery mechanism for rich multimedia content on the Web,” writes PCWorld’s Elizabeth Montalbano.

Exactly which portions of Silverlight will be released are still unclear and there is no indication of what licence the Microsoft team will use to cover the open-sourced portions.

Previous releases of Microsoft code (such as to governments a couple of years ago) have been under very specific circumstances and only to a limited few. Whether Microsoft will wholeheartedly embrace open source this time around will be interesting to watch.

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