Microsoft Announces Open Source for Windows 2000

Fake News written by John Elfrink on Monday, July 26, 1999

from the will-microsoft-invest-in-paper-companies? dept.

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 users."

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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