Has Microsoft really changed its attitude toward open source?

In today's open source roundup: Microsoft may or may not have a new attitude toward open source. Plus: Android versus Windows, and Cinnamon versus Unity in Ubuntu 14.04

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Microsoft became infamous for its very negative early remarks about open source software. But restructuring at the company may be giving it a more positive attitude toward open source. CNet reports on changes in Microsoft's perceptions and behavior when it comes to open source software.

According to CNet:

But Microsoft's feud with open source has been sputtering for quite some time, and the senior managers who led the anti-open source charge are gone from the scene -- or at least no longer in positions of authority. Open source is now routinely used by corporations around the world, and the company's sniffy put-downs only fed into the perception of Microsoft as out of touch.

Some of that new thinking reflects the change at the top of the corporate pyramid, with Satya Nadella replacing Ballmer as CEO in early February. Since taking over, Nadella has talked up his vision of a Microsoft whose future isn't shackled to its Windows past.

More at CNet
Microsoft and Communist Open Source
Image credit: Curako's Blog

Okay, I hate to be a Negative Ned here, but I'm firmly in the "trust but verify" camp when it comes to Microsoft and open source. Yes, a new CEO and other changes may be helping Microsoft to adjust to living in an open source world. But change never comes easy or fast in such a large organization, so I think the jury is still out on whether or not Microsoft has really changed for the better when it comes to open source software.

Also, I've never forgotten the company's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy that they used in the past to destroy competitive software products. That alone is reason enough to keep a wary eye on Microsoft's involvement with any open source project. Perhaps the company really has changed, but maybe it hasn't. I think it bears watching for at least another few years to see if enduring change has really set in or not.

Android versus Windows

ZDNet has an article that covers the top end-user Linux distributions. It notes that Windows still rules the desktop for now, but Android may eventually be the big kahuna among end-user operating systems by the end of this year.

According to ZDNet:

If smartphones and tablet sales continue to grow as expected, Android tablet vendors continue to erode Apple's market share, and PCs continue their decline, Android may end up being the top end-user operating system by the end of 2014—regardless of what happens with the proposed Android PCs.

Taken as a whole, Android clearly rules the Linux end-user space. No, you may not think of it as a desktop yet —although AMD and Intel would both like you to change your mind about that — but Android is on its way to being the top end-user operating system of all.

More at ZDNet
Android Versus Windows
Image credit: ZDNet
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