Alternative thoughts on “open source” software from Microsoft

cool_penguin_smallProbably all of the Linux and open source related magazines have a common article today: Microsoft open sources Visual Studio Code. Many of them have omitted the “Code” part of it making the serious mistake of misleading users to think Microsoft’s Visual Studio source code is open now. It’s not.

We covered the news when Visual Studio Code was announced publicly the first time. However, we deliberately omitted news of the company open sourcing other software like .NET components, machine learning framework as well as the latest VS Code.

There were some introspections behind the conscious decision. Let’s check out the impact of the software Microsoft is open sourcing and some probable reasons behind the actions:

  • .NET: what’s left to be developed in .NET other than maintenance? Is it anything more that the highest level of rapid app development framework that can be extended easily adding newer sets of APIs by end users? For all we know, Oracle has already started laying off its core JAVA devs.
  • Distributed Machine Learning Toolkit: the piece became open source immediately after Google did the same.
  • Visual Studio Code: a web tech development IDE, not really rocket science. Yes, it now adds a feature to debug using GDB, but to some extent, so does GDB dashboard with a nice interface.

While this article is by no means an anti-MS propaganda, the fact is, none of these utilities are actually state-of-the-art innovations, neither are they strong value addition to open source. And if any such innovation is going on inside the tech giant, it’s still inside.

And is it the best MS can do about open source? You know the answer.

However, all of this and MS’s recent attempts at getting the limelight in LinuxCon, getting cosy with Red Hat probably point at one direction – Microsoft is trying to get business from an area where the very idea of doing business wasn’t very strong… till companies like Red Hat, SuSE proved it otherwise. But can we remotely compare the contributions of companies like Red Hat or SuSE to open source with that of MS? Once again, you know the answer! And we would wait… patiently. It seems too early to be excited.

Post these considerations we decided against covering any “MS open source” related news on TuxDiary… till we see something significant. We leave it to our readers to criticize or welcome the decision.

2 thoughts on “Alternative thoughts on “open source” software from Microsoft”

  1. An excellent article and definitely an eye-opener for me. I was excited and afraid at the same time about MS’s activities but now I can say for sure that MS needs to improve it’s game if it really wants to be a significant contributor. Wait and watch will be our game. 😛

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