My skepticism will end when (when even one of these is true):
when I finally see their products like Microsoft Office for open platforms - Linux and BSD platforms. Nobody says that MS should open source the MSOffice and other products, but they should support by releasing their products more cross platform. Even though Libreoffice exists, but I gave example of MSOffice just because when MSOffice for Mac exists, then it wouldn't be hard to support Linux too.
Or, when ( most importantly ) they support patent free and open video encoding technologies for HTML5, rather than pushing for patent encumbered MPEG.
Or, when they support web standards better. html5 tests (www.html5test.com) scores are the worst for IE, rest major browsers are far far ahead of IE in html5test scores
Or, Atleast they should support invalidating the software patents(only copyrights will be enforceable for softwares, not patents). Or atleast, software patents for user elements should be invalidated. They should join atleast the efforts. But I have never seen support from them.
Patenting/Threatening due to "Ribbon interface" (even when prior art exists) - does not invoke confidence. User interface elements of ribbon interface - seriously - are they innovation??? Tese are arm twisting tactics. Microsoft should fight corporate wars from front- not from behind.
But their backstabbing stories like:
(1) Nokia-Stephen Elopp mole
and (2) recent funding of Cynagen-mod from background channels with obvious ulterior motives"
- rather than taking war from front like brave hero.
These recent stories of Microsoft do not evoke confidence in me, to even professionally work for Microsoft. We are not able to see Microsoft as "some gallantry glorified war hero - who plays with ethics". Look google, they have good image, look Apple - they fund BSD and clang regularly . Apple have a mystic feeling. Oracle stewards OpenJDK with open development. Whereas Microsoft has opened the source code of .NET with BSD license, but their development model is not open.
The way they shelved "Ironruby , Ironpython" projects, do not evoke confidence, while jruby etc of java camp are still going very strong.
There always seems trap in their act, C# etc are ECMA standards, but Winforms has no ECMA standard. Why? Is this not a trapping?
So why should one embrace/rally for Microsoft , who have a cunning backstabbing image(embrace-extend-crush), not an image of a corporate war hero - the one who fought wars bravely through rules and emrged victorious. There is no glory in none of their act. They do not seem to be playing fair in even one of their act.
They have so much money , but still so much insecure backstabbing tactics so far , why?? Even smaller companies, have better history/better image/better war ethics. They should try to play fair.
Even then probably i would "like to believe" - with this donation that this Microsoft wants to change, and we should try to give them opportunity to change their image.
**Atleast by supporting the upcoming Daala (patent free open video encoding) in their browsers, they can show that they stand for humanity and ideals too** . Money/profit is really very important ,but it is not everything. They should bring gallantry glory to atleast one of their acts too. They should try to become One company where one wants to work - just for Microsoft's one act of ethics, without asking that how much they want to offer me salary.
in reply to
> I understand the skepticism :) but this is a new Microsoft, and we're very excited that Microsoft engineers are involved more than ever before in Open Source projects.
> I can safely also say that our intentions are to be part of this great community, embrace it, extend it, contribute and build a solution that our customers will benefit from using everyday..