Regular readers here will remember we mentioned Microsoft China’s innovative service of 140 char Microblogging. In an allegation from Plurk, another established Microblogging service in China, it is claimed that Microsoft’s “latest innovation” has taken code from the Plurk project.
This is the second code issue in as many months with Microsoft being alleged to have infringed on the GPL with code in their software. As usual it doesn’t take long for the “Microsoft blames” statements to arrive and in this instance it was in the form of blaming 3rd party developers for the “dodgy” code. The question I had at the time was, if Microsoft don’t have control of their own code (in that they were not aware) what else lurks inside their products which we may not be aware of.
I digress, this article is about Microsoft and alleged using of Plurk code. There is an interesting link to this, which can be found here and this site actually compares line by line the code of the two projects.
At the present time Microsoft has yet to comment. Who will they blame? (if anyone). Whilst Microsoft at present time appears to be silent, Plurk is not so:
If this was just a case of visual inspiration gone too far, we could probably have lived with it. We would have taken the time to reach out to Microsoft, get colour on the matter and try to amicably resolve it. That’s not the case here. This is something far more sinister. On closer inspection, we found that MUCH of the codebase and data structures that Microsoft’s MClub uses are identical snapshots of our code.
and you can visit the Plurk blog here. Which also says:
We were first tipped off by high profile bloggers and Taiwanese users of our community that Microsoft had just launched a new Chinese microblogging service that looked eerily similar to Plurk. Needless to say we were absolutely shocked and outraged when we first saw with our own eyes the cosmetic similarities Microsoft’s new offering had with Plurk. From the filter tabs, emoticons, qualifier/verb placement, Karma scoring system, media support, new user walkthroughs to pretty much everything else that gives Plurk its trademark appeal, Microsoft China’s offering ripped off our service.
Maybe we should run a book for the odds on who Microsoft will blame?
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org