Today I stumpled across an interesting article from a member of the Danish association of Open Source Software Vendors, OSL. Apparently Microsoft Denmark and OSL have had some talks about Microsoft joining the association. Theoretically it makes kindda sense not alone since Microsoft has just had two of their licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative. It also seems that OSL has denied Microsoft membership and that they have chosen to made the communication between them public - at least to their members.
Well, the association has some rules to determine if a company can become a member: (my translation)
"...As a member a company or organisation can be accepted who delivers open source related products or services and who wishes to work actively to promote the purpose of the association, herein:
- suppliers and and vendors of open source solutions
- developers of open source applications
- open source software companies
- open source software system integrators
- hardware vendors
- open source software consultants, herein accountants and lawyers
- vendors/suppliers of support anddevelopment ofopen source software.
As a member a company or organisation cannot be accepted if they, in relation to their application, cannot document to the board that they within the latest fiscal year has has a turnover/revenue of such size that it can ensure full-time employment of more that one employee, subcontractor or freelancer ..."
As you can see, the statutes are rather loose - basically you only need an interest in open source software and be able to employ at least one person on these grounds.
Still, Microsoft has been denied membership. I haven't seen the documentation of the communication - please supply it, if you have it - but from here it seems a rather stupid move by OSL. I'm not really surprised, though, since I have always found the tone of the association a tad too "high-pitch" and selfrighteous. Microsoft has moved quite a bit in the last few years - much of it due to associations like OSL, and maybe this should be rewarded here.
On the other hand - why would Microsoft put their hands into this bee-hive? Is it just a publicity-stunt and a way to demonstrate the hiprocracy of OSL .... or do they have a sincere wish to contribute?
... or is the reason simply that there is so much bad blood between Microsoft and the open source software community, that it has become impossible to find common grounds?
The article I have referred to is in Danish (Mikkel, can I translate it here?) and amongst other things Mikkel says:
Furthermore I think it is sad that the question about Microsoft's admission in OSL is solely based on the disputes about open document standards [...]. With the stability of Linux and user friendlyness from Microsoft, Communism and Capitalism will be able to create new innovative standards to benefit us all. I think OSL should open up instead of isolating themselves.
With the comparison with Communism and Capitalism he nicely sets up the fronts in the trench-war ... but he has a good point.