The results are in. The votes have been counted. The outcome is no surprise.
Back on Halloween, when we ran our article on Ross Gardler’s presentation on “Microsoft and Open Source” at the All Things Open conference, we posted a poll that asked, “Is Microsoft committed to open source?” Guess what? You answered “no,” as in “nope,” “nadda” or “ain’t no way, baby.”
If you’ll remember, Mr. Gardler tried his best to convince us that Microsoft has changed and that they’re no longer the big, bad wolf when it comes to open source. In fact, he used the word “change” so often when referring to Microsoft that we began to think we’d passed through a rift in the time-space continuum and were back in 2007 at an Obama rally.
“Microsoft have changed significantly over the last fifteen years, twenty years, thirty years. They’re a much more open company. Microsoft is much more open.”
Yeah, right. And there will be peace in our times.
He gave us example after example of all the code Microsoft’s contributed to open source projects. The trouble was, all of this code was merely for the purpose of making sure that open source programs would run well on Windows. When asked about this, he said it wasn’t true.
“…while the majority of the work is to do things like make node.js run on Windows, we make sure in doing that we are not harming any running on other platforms…”
Thank goodness for that. We were getting a little worried that Microsoft’s contributions would break Linux so badly that it wouldn’t run anywhere but virtually on Azure.
Anyway, back to our poll…
It turns out that you didn’t buy what Microsoft was selling any more than we did. When we asked our question — is Microsoft committed to open source? — 78% of you answered “Not committed at all” and 17% of you indicated that you thought the folks in Redmond are “A little committed.” Interestingly, twice as many of you didn’t know if Microsoft is committed to open source (4%) than thought they are “Totally committed (2%).
We’re left remembering the story where the wolf enters Riding Hood’s room in grandma drag. Now that would be an episode of Once Upon A Time we wouldn’t want to miss, with Ballmer playing Big Bad and RMS playing Little Red.