Microsoft announced last week that it was joining the Apache Software Foundation, a foundation that focuses on open source Web projects. Additionally, they have added to their open source team at Microsoft to include 112 people today. About a year ago they only had 15.
Microsoft currently has two open source licenses – the Microsoft Public License and the Microsoft Reciprocal License. It has been reported that Microsoft products – Exchange, SQL Server and others – will eventually become open source. The changes could even happen as early as 2009.
If Microsoft were to enter the open source game, we think there would be a way for them to charge for licensing or perhaps only offer products that are compatible with other open source applications. It’s very unlikely that Microsoft, or any other large software vendor, would move to a free model unless forced to.