[LINK] Why the government should watch out for the card up Microsoft's sleeve

Damien Miller djm@mindrot.org
Wed, 05 Feb 2003 10:32:08 +1100


Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> Why the government should watch out for the card up Microsoft's sleeve
> Where's Paul Daniels when you need him?
> Silicon.com
> Mon 3 February 2003 04:49PM GMT
> http://www.silicon.com/leader/500011-500001/1/2718.html?nl=d20030204

[snip]

> Very few businesses actually bothered to look at the source code they were
> offered under the Shared Source Initiative. It'll probably be the same with
> the GSP. But by offering it, Microsoft appears to be open source friendly
> and security conscious - and therefore OK for use within governments.
> 
> Which of course it is. But lurking up Bill Gates' sleeve are a couple of
> Black Mariahs: licence fees and long-term lock-in. Can governments trump
> that? Probably not.

Add to this the very real risk of "contamination" of 
government-developed open source software by Microsoft's code. This 
contamination need not be real, just the possibility would be enough 
justification for expensive and embarrasing legal action.

-d