Shared Source and Windows CE

By Doug Gaff

I read with some excitement Microsoft’s recent announcement of their shared source release of Windows CE 6.0. Microsoft has clearly recognized what many RTOS companies have known
for a while – device software developers want and need easy access to
the OS source code, both for debugging and for customization. This is a
great move that will surely benefit developers.

What really piqued my interest, though, was the shared source initiative
under which CE 6.0 was released. Microsoft has three different shared
source license agreements in this initiative, plus a couple of
variations. I’m not a lawyer, so take this with a grain of salt, but it
appears they have loosely modeled the Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL) after the Apache License and the Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL) after the Mozilla Public License.  From my reading of these two licenses, I believe they qualify as official open source licenses as defined by the Open Source Initiative.  I wonder if the OSI has the same opinion.

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