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[humorix] Microsoft Announces Open Source for Windows 2000

Microsoft Announces Open Source for Windows 2000
John Elfrink, thehungrytiger@rocketmail.com
July 28, 1999

The computer world was stunned today with the announcement
that software giant Microsoft will open its source code for
Windows 2000 when the product hits the stores in 2002.

"It's totally unreal," one user commented. "It's like the
Berlin wall coming down 10 years back. People kept saying
over and over that it would never happen. Then one day
right out of the blue the impossible comes true."

Users thrilled by this news should be warned. Although the
source code will be available completely free of charge,
there are several limitations that Microsoft has placed on
the project. Probably most importantly is the fact that the
source code will be available in printed form only.

"We have considered many options," a spokesman for
Microsoft said today, "and at this time having a printed
copy of the source code makes the most sense. And we are
proud to be able to offer this option to our many dedicated

The amount of paper needed to print the entire source code
comes in at slightly more than 30 tons. Microsoft has
admitted that this may put the open source code beyond the
reach of most developers. Shipping and handling cost alone
comes in at $475 as three tractor-trailers are needed in
order to deliver the printed work.

It was also noted that the shipping form requires a
registration number to be filled in. When asked if the
source code can actually be called open if only registered
windows users can get it, the spokesman for Microsoft noted
that it was an unfortunate necessity. "Software piracy is
everyone's problem," he said, "and this is our way of
helping the industry control it."

It was also pointed out that the shipping form requires
people to fill out 17 pages of personal likes and dislikes.
It is suspected that Microsoft may take this information
and sell advertisers the names and addresses of everyone
filling out the shipping form. Microsoft offered little
comment on this rumor, except for one anonymous
spokesperson who said, "The demographic data is for
customer support purposes."

Some people suspect Microsoft of trickery, especially in
light of last month's court case in which Microsoft tried
to claim that it holds the trademark on the term "Open
Source".  The case was tossed out because Microsoft does
not offer any "Open Source" software and therefore cannot
claim rights to the term.  Today's announcement comes
one day before an appeal on the trademark issue is heard.
According to Microsoft the timing is "purely coincidental".
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