More open source is good open source

A few days ago, Microsoft announced that it has released PowerShell under the MIT license for Linux (and Mac OS X). Perhaps surprisingly, this has brought a number of folks out of the woodwork to gripe about Microsoft… releasing something as open source.

Microsoft isn’t perfect, not by a long shot, but this is not Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft. This isn’t Bill Gates’ Microsoft. The days when Microsoft and the open source community are mortal enemies are behind us. (At least for now, anyway. Companies don’t always move in a straight line.) The company still has plenty of flaws (its position on software patents, its Windows 10 update policies, for example), but the knee-jerk “anything Microsoft does is terrible!” attitude needs to go.

Sharing is good, mmmkay? When a company engages in good faith with the larger open source community, it’s a good thing. Even if they’re not perfect at it, it’s an opportunity to improve. Adopting a hostile posture doesn’t help. I get that people might have some residual anger about past behavior, but it’s time to put that to rest.

Having PowerShell on Linux doesn’t really change much for me, for good or ill. I might poke at it out of curiosity, but I don’t see myself switching from GNU Bash to PowerShell. But it doesn’t take anything away from me at all. And it’s a Good Thing™ for a number of people who administer Windows and Linux systems. Maybe we’ll learn a thing or two from their code.

And if you’re not personally interested in PowerShell, it probably doesn’t change anything for you either. So if the idea of running a Microsoft project on Linux is abhorrent, then… just ignore it. It’s OK, just move on without venting your anger all over the place for other people to deal with.

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