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It's official: Microsoft embraces Open Source

The Open Source Initiative has (finally) approved two "shared source" licences submitted by Microsoft. So Microsoft is now officially Open Source, and it didn't even ask for any special treatment.

In a Microsoft blog-posting, Microsoft explains that the existing licences have been renamed. The Ms-PL (Microsoft Permissive Licence) is now… wait for it… the Ms-PL, or Microsoft Public License.

The OSI has been scrutinising Microsoft's licences since August, and says in a posting of its own:

"Acting on the advice of the License Approval Chair, the OSI Board today approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL). The decision to approve was informed by the overwhelming (though not unanimous) consensus from the open source community that these licenses satisfied the 10 criteria of the Open Source definition, and should therefore be approved.

"The formal evaluation of these licenses began in August and the discussion of these licenses was vigourous and thorough. The community raised questions that Microsoft (and others) answered; they raised issues that, when germane to the licenses in question, Microsoft addressed.

"Microsoft came to the OSI and submitted their licenses according to the published policies and procedures that dozens of other parties have followed over the years. Microsoft didn't ask for special treatment, and didn't receive any.

"In spite of recent negative interactions between Microsoft and the open source community, the spirit of the dialog was constructive and we hope that carries forward to a constructive outcome as well."

See also: 10 things Microsoft loves & hates about open source

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