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Microsoft Open Source Code Is Part Of Google's Chrome
Much of the reader feedback to "Why Windows Must Go Open Source" is saying, "No way." But part of my hypothesis is the fact that Microsoft as a developer culture is much less averse to such a move than Microsoft as a business culture. Consider the Windows Template Library, code that's now part of Google's browser, Chrome.
Microsoft's Windows Template Library is a light version of Windows Foundation Classes, which provide an efficient way for calling user interface services out of the Windows API set. A browser needs to make use of certain Windows functions for its own operations to succeed as a window on the Web. WTL makes those services available.
Scott Hanselman's blog, The Weekly Source Code, points out that WTL was made open source code in 2004. It became open source under the Microsoft Public License, which was later sanctioned by the Open Source Initiative as a legitimate open source license. Scott is a Microsoft programmer in Portland, Ore., and he recounted recently an e-mail conversation with Pranish Kumar, formerly of the Visual C++ team at Microsoft, on how WTL went open source.
Pranish wrote: "[WTL] was one of the first if not the first OSS things from Microsoft and it was a tough sell. There was a meeting with some bosses where we were presenting 3 potential OSS items. I guess it was the first 'real OSS' with joint MS/Community involvement as opposed to just us posting something externally. WTL was the only one that got approved."
Hanselman describes the Microsoft Public License as one that hands the open source to a developer with the stipulation, "Have fun and don't call if there's trouble." In other words, it's "a very relaxed" license, the kind that open source developers like.
WTL went on to become a community-supported project on SourceForge -- in 2004, or about 28 years ago in Internet time, Hanselman estimates. A key piece of Microsoft code went on to be used by a wider body of developers. And who's to say this process won't be repeated many times until one day...
But I've already elaborated my position. I leave the rest of the debate up to those inside and outside of Microsoft who are in a position to make it happen.
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Google Respins Globe With Earth 5.0 Beta
The latest version of Google's geospatial mapping app lets users dive beneath the seas, explore the effects of climate change, and view high-resolution NASA images of Mars.
More people are working on the road these days than ever. But doing work on mobile phones can be
challenging: mobile browsers render information on much smaller screens than standard PCs and have less memory and bandwidth. Here are the pros -- and cons -- of some of the more popular mobile Web browsers.
Get Ready For Windows 7
Microsoft says its next operating system will be lighter, simpler, and faster. We take a first look at the beta and ask people whether it's living up to the initial billing. The reviews are mixed. Free Download
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Google Earth 5.0 Lets You Plumb The Ocean's Depths
Today Google released a new version of Google Earth. The biggest change in the Earth exploration software is the addition of data from the world's oceans. Now you can scour the ocean floor and study its topography.
OpenOffice: What Just Happened?
Last week I had a long chat with Michael Meeks of Novell, he of the (in?)famous blog post about the stagnation of OpenOffice. The post itself has been chewed over and thrown around by so many other big dogs, I thought I'd go right to the man himself and ask him some questions. The biggest one was this: How is it that one of the biggest success stories in the open source software world (at least in terms of recognizability) is getting so badly bogged down from within?
Apple Planning Video-Call iPhone
Recent stories on Apple's iPhone patent have focused on Cupertino's threatened legal action against Palm, which is launching the iPhone-like Pre smartphone. But a closer examination of the Apple patent yields much more interesting news. Namely, Apple is considering adding a video record feature to the iPhone -- an omission users have long complained about -- and it may soon become a handheld videophone platform, with support for mobile video-conferencing calls.
Comcast Broadcasts Porn Clip During Super Bowl
Super Bowl watchers in Tucson, Ariz., "got more action than they bargained for" when cable provider Comcast showed a short and extremely graphic porn clip during he final moments of the game.
Video: Super Bowl Security
There will be about 250,000 people in Tampa, Fla., for the Super Bowl today. And while the FBI has reported that there are no credible terror threats for the game, one bet you're guaranteed to win today is that security will be tight.
Windows 7 'Security Flaw' Really Is By Design
Blogger Long Zheng is raising concern about a supposed Windows 7 security bug that he discovered. He's shown that it is possible to push keystrokes into the User Account Control dialog to turn off UAC completely. Although Zheng contacted Microsoft about the problem, they insist it's "by design."
How The Stimulus Bill Supports Enterprise IT
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed by the House last week, will probably sail through the Senate in the next week or so and get to the president's desk for signing by mid-February, despite the political theater to which we're likely to be treated over the next 15 days.
5 Hot Technologies To Learn To Rev Up Your Web 3.0 Smarts
I admit it; I love technical books. Give me a cookbook-sized tome from O'Reilly, Addison-Wesley, or even Web access via the great new Safari Books Online service, and I'm there. Sadly, there's never enough time to dive into the platforms and programming tools one wants to learn about. Yet now's the perfect time, because reading is a great way to develop new professional skills while remaining positively focused on the future amid these challenging economic times. Read on for my "I'm getting ready for Web 3.0" list.
Will We See Live Streaming Conference PPV This Year?
Over the past couple of years, more and more conferences have been providing free live streaming to viewers at home. There are always arguments both for and against live streaming. Some feel that it takes away from those who have paid thousands of dollars to attend a conference. Others believe it offers an opportunity for those at home to interact.
Forrester Consulting: Unified Communications Delivers Global Benefits This Forrester Consulting study shows how Unified Communications (UC) makes it simpler to contact others over any device in any location, enhancing business agility, cutting costs, and boosting employee productivity. Forrester finds that UC is already delivering major savings for organizations around the world in retail banking, manufacturing and education. Download the full report for free.
Software as a Service Research Report No longer a niche software delivery model, software as a service (SaaS) can help small and midsize companies get access to enteprise-class software functionality without having to commit enterprise-level capital resources. Download the full report for free.
The Internet & The Developing World The evolution of the Internet has been full of surprises - surprises that have sometimes resulted in radical changes in the commercial landscape, such as the arrival of Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube, and Skype. Could one of the next big surprises turn out to be linked to developing countries? Read the full report for free from InternetEvolution.com
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