Microsoft to Develop own Open Source Platform

Apr 09, 2010

Yes, you read that headline right

Open source developer at Microsoft, Garrett Serack announced today plans to bring a native running open source platform to Windows.

In a blog posted today, Serack announced the Common Opensource Application Publishing Platform (CoApp). The post outlines the challenges of developing open source applications in a Windows environment and the differences between developing on UNIX and Linux and Windows.

From the site:

CoApp will:

• Provide a distributed, community driven package management system for open source applications on the Windows Platform

• Handle multiple versions of binaries using WinSxS (I know, even the mention of side-by-side components evokes fear, anger and the desire to go off-diet, but bear with me, I think we’ve got a solution), including multiple copies of the same version of the same library, compiled with different compilers.

• Support 64 bit and 32 bit systems, without hassle or collisions.

• Place binaries, libraries and header files in a logical and consistent location.

• Have tools and methods for handling dependencies.

• Create reliable installer packages (MSIs) for installing open source software.

• Facilitate sharing of components and allow multiple projects to easily both participate and consume them.

• Allow for upgrades and patching of both libraries and applications.

• Be Windows developer friendly. No forcing of building using ‘make’, but rather taking advantage of the nifty IDEs we already have.

• Also be Windows admin friendly. Even if it’s open source, you shouldn’t have to be a developer to put Open Source applications on Windows.

• Use advanced optimization techniques like Profile Guided Optimization to produce optimized binaries.

• Support future technologies as they come along.

• Aid in the adoption of Windows Error Reporting (WinQual) to assist in making software run better on Windows.

• End the eternal struggle between Green and Purple. Unless of course you’re a Drazi and are conducting elections.

This announcement is one of the most notable steps toward open source development Microsoft has made. During an interview with The Chicago Sun-Times in 2001 Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer likened Linux to a cancer saying that it, "attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."

The one thing Serack's exceptionally detailed post does leave out? A timetable. Though he does softly hint at a target in comment response. "I hope that you'll be pleasantly surprised a year from now."

Additional details can be found on Launchpad with a wiki at

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  • I don't want anything to do with Microsoft

    Whatever open source software MS is cooking up... I do not want any of it. Microsoft has failed to beat the general open source, Linux, and *BSD communities. Thus, MS is now trying to infiltrate via trojan horse with deceit in order to destroy and subvert open source from within. Beware of Mono infection (Beagle, TomBoy, MonoDevelop, Muine, Banshee, Keypass 2, Diva, Galaxium, etc). MS is on the assault while sending the proverbial "Dove of Peace."
  • Community run patching

    It's seems that M$ has seen the light, and will allow developers to patch software by fixing security holes and software upgrades alike. While this may seem like a great idea, because it's open source, it's a good change that these developers won't get paid for their hard work, while M$ receives all the credit, and money..

    I realize the open-source (Linux) communities don't pay their developers very well either, mostly in trade, branding and products.. I for one would still stay true open-source, versus a " Wolf in sheep's clothing "


    Microsoft to offer "Windows 10" for free to everyone and but it's not really Windows, its really just linux with a Windows logo ... And guess what grand-ma NO Virus'

  • Microsoft Open Source

    We will soon learn that nobody at Microsoft has a clue what the term 'open source' means (or that they think the term means the exact opposite of what everyone that doesn't work for Microsoft thinks it means).

    I'll bet it won't include terms that allow freely redistributing it, or freely distributing your work (you'll need to submit everything you do to Microsoft - for 'approval,' where they'll steal any ideas of yours they approve of).

    There are two groups of people that do business with M$ - those that have been royally screwed, and those that soon will be.
  • Microsoft "open source"

    People who gush with statements like, "This announcement is one of the most notable steps toward open source development Microsoft has made", are seriously not paying attention. Here's a hint for you:

    "I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows" - Steve Ballmer
  • MS Bulldust

    I think if you were to lookup the definition of "DoubleTalk" it would probably pretty well equate to just this

  • Microsoft opensource for fools

    I also heard that Microsoft will be giving away diapers with the shit already in them.
  • Translation:

    "Here, use our new framework to make your open source apps Windows-friendly... and completely non-portable."

    Open-source developers targeting Windows have always had the ability to just use existing Windows tools like Visual Studio. Open source developers who use the maligned "make" for their projects are porting them to Windows from something Unix-like (in other words, pretty much any operating system other than Windows).

    So I don't see who the target audience is here, except for perhaps tricking novice open-source developers into targeting Windows and nothing else. Maybe he should make an autoconf or cmake helper script that generates a Visual Studio project which in turn will generate .msi packages, rather than just saying "Here's a framework for developing open source applications on Windows just as you would develop any other Windows-only application."

    As for the non-build-related stuff, the package management and DLL-hell-resolution stuff, why is that being developed only under the purview of an "open-source publishing platform" and not for Windows in general? DLL hell is by no means something that only open source developers complain about.
  • MSOS

    oximoron - Microsoft Opensource
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