Nothing major on this sunny Saturday, I just thought I would throw up a few links to the various reaction pieces from Microsoft's announcement last week detailing their new commitments to interoperability in their major platforms. In general, skepticism seems to rule the day, but I continue to believe most of it stems from a misapprehension of the motives and a certain lack of deviousness in the interpretations.
A prime example are noted Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley's two articles on the announcement. Her "oh, this again" reaction typifies that of many skeptics, noting that on the surface it simply seems to put a positive spin on requirements laid down by the European Unions Court of First Instance recently for the company. I disagree; despite the perception that the CFI ruling was a victory for open source advocates, many have recanted that initial position on further examination. Matthew Aslett at the 451 Group has a good post explaining why, and I think a closer reading of the decision shows that it doesn't require nearly as far-reaching steps as Microsoft is actually taking.
Dana Gardner has a more devious take which warms my heart, casting the moves as a necessary prerequisite for a successful culmination of the Yahoo takeover. Larry Dignan sees it in a similar light to mine, as a move to protect their application stack.
Matt Asay sees it as almost unambiguously positive, probably the most unusual position, particularly from the .
I think that ultimately what will make the move positive or not has nothing to do with Microsoft, and everything to do with the open source community. Will they take advantage of the positive pieces of the initiative, or will they fixate on everything that it isn't?