Microsoft At It Again

Now Microsoft is trying to dictate how we license software we develop. They’re trying
to bully people away from GPL.

Microsoft’s
file-share rule makes waves

Microsoft has opened a new chapter in its long-running dispute with open-source software developers–and it could have antitrust implications.

In late March, Microsoft published a document that outlines how third-party developers can use Common Internet File Sharing (CIFS), a protocol developed by Microsoft that specifies how Windows PCs share files with servers.Though publishing the document should make it easier to write software that incorporates CIFS, it contains a crucial restriction that has instead handcuffed some developers.

Specifically, Microsoft requires programmers to sign an agreement that prohibits using information in the document when building software governed by the General Public License (GPL). Among the products affected by the restriction is Samba, widely used software that competes with file sharing technology in Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Samba uses CIFS to communicate with client systems.