Microsoft Open Source Solitaire

Fake News written by James Baughn on Tuesday, December 15, 1998

from the wait-until-rms-hears-about-this dept.

REDMOND, WA -- In a first attempt at "embrace-and-extend" of open source software, Microsoft will release its popular Solitaire and FreeCell games as open source under the MILA (Microsoft Innovative License Agreement). According to a Microsoft press release, the Visual C++ source code for the two games will be available from the Microsoft website "in the first quarter" (no year was specified).

Industry pundits hail the move as revolutionary. "Microsoft's release of its most popular Windows feature as open source software demonstrates just how innovative the company really is. The DoJ is clearly barking up the wrong tree," wrote one Ziff-Davis flunkie. One executive at a large company said, "Freely available source code is one the best ideas Microsoft has ever invented."

Many observers, however, are not so thrilled. "The Solitaire license is certainly not open source," one Linux hacker noted. "One of the terms of the license is that developers must not ever create a game that has the potential of competing with Microsoft or one of Microsoft's 'partners'. This is clearly unacceptable."

Another Linux developer told Humorix, "Let's just hope some fool doesn't try to port this thing to Linux. Imagine the havoc that could ensue if a bunch of core Linux contributors downloaded Solitaire and became addicted to it. It would be a disaster! Linux and open source development would grind to a halt while the hackers wasted their time playing Solitaire or FreeCell. 'Just one more game...' they would say."

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