December 15, 2009 by openbytes
Readers yesterday will remember our article “Microsoft China steals code from Plurk?” and the question I asked at the time was who will Microsoft blame? Well, heres what Microsoft has been reported to have said on the incident:
On Monday, December 14, questions arose over a beta application called Juku developed by a Chinese vendor for our MSN China joint venture.
Ok, so immediately we can see where this is going. The key words here would be “developed by a Chinese vendor for our MSN…..”.
The vendor has now acknowledged that a portion of the code they provided was indeed copied.
Great and don’t tell me, Microsoft knew nothing?
When we hire an outside company to do development work, our practice is to include strong language in our contract that clearly states the company must provide work that does not infringe the intellectual property rights of others. We are a company that respects intellectual property and it was never our intent to have a site that was not respectful of the work that others in the industry have done.
Really? but then this isn’t the first time we’ve had “code issues” is it Microsoft? Are there any more 3rd parties that are going to ”borrow” code from elsewhere (or violate the GPL)?
We will be suspending access to the Juku beta indefinitely.
Well then maybe is not all bad news then.
Later on in the statement Microsoft say:
In the wake of this incident, Microsoft and our MSN China joint venture will be taking a look at our practices around applications code provided by third-party vendors.
To which I would ask, why didn’t you do this the first time you had issues? I have a few other points to include in the conclusions, but Microsoft statement can be found here
Plurk though don’t seem convinced they had this to say in regards to the incident:
we have a very hard time believing, given the size and scope of the undertaking, that there was no active involvement or development taking place directly within Microsoft itself on this service,
Please read my article yesterday and take note of my closing words:
Maybe we should run a book for the odds on who Microsoft will blame?
and when I posted the link to the article in comp.os.linux.advocacy I said:
I wonder who they will “blame” this time? Maybe I should start a book…odds on favorite is a 3rd party.
and we all see now that I only had to wait a day for the answer. I wish I was a betting man since I was spot on with the “odds on favorite”.
So yet again we find ourselves looking at an allegation that Microsoft has code issues (and IMO at best supervision of 3rd party issues) and yet again its a 3rd party at fault (allegedly) what I would ask is why does Microsoft appear to have lost control of its projects? (IMO).
I don’t care if they are written by a 3rd party or not, it appears to me that Microsoft really does not know what is going on and in respect of its many other schemes, programs, packages and deals, how many more issues like these are to be found? Lets hope that the naughty 3rd parties are merely copying the code of others (or violating the GPL) and not using this apparent lack of supervision for more dubious means.
I wonder what the shareholders make of this, yet another allegation against Microsoft and yet another project suspended?
Of course it was only last month that it was reported:
Microsoft has pulled the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from the Microsoft Store website after a report indicating that the tool incorporated open source code in a way that violated the GNU’s General Public License (GPL).
and the site Withinwindows.com said in regards to this:
…revealed the source code was obviously lifted from the CodePlex-hosted (yikes) GPLv2-licensed ImageMaster project.
You can read the original article here. Under the title “Microsoft pulls Windows 7 tool after GPL violation claims” Microsoft allegedly had this to say about this particular claim:
although it was not intentional on our part. While we had contracted with a third party to create the tool, we share responsibility as we did not catch it as part of our code review process.
So another 3rd party eh? and yet again Microsoft didn’t notice? What on earth is going on here?
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org