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Microsoft Tries Soft Sell To Beat Open Source

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer praised the transparency of open source on Thursday. "You can peek through the door if you can't figure out how something works," he said.

Earlier this week, Microsoft actually submitted some source code under an open source license. The company submitted WiX, or the Windows Installer XML, to, a central clearinghouse for open source software. WiX is a tool used to allow developers to build installers for applications; Microsoft uses WiX in its installers for products including Office, SQLServer, and BizTalk Server.

The WiX open source submission was done under the auspices of Microsoft's Shared Source initiative, a program whereby Microsoft releases source code to selected customers and partners for them to examine, but not alter.

Jason Matusow, shared source manager for Microsoft, said in an interview with Linux Pipeline earlier this week, that the WiX release is part of a trend where open and proprietary software vendors are adopting pieces of each others' business models.

"There is a move to the middle," Matusow said. "There is a process that is happening away from the hardline points that you are either open or closed. I think that has gone completely gray at this point."

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