[Fsf-friends] NEWS: Microsoft woos academic world

FN fred@bytesforall.org
Sat, 22 Feb 2003 01:11:06 +0530 (IST)

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URL: http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/1588091

   February 20, 2003 
   Microsoft Woos Academic World

   By [72]Thor Olavsrud

   Continuing efforts to woo academia, [73]Microsoft ([74]Quote,
   [75]Company Info) Thursday said it will release Visual Studio .NET
   2003 Academic Edition to U.S. schools in conjunction with professional
   versions of the development environment. Additionally, the source code
   for a number of environment's components will be made available under
   Microsoft's [76]Shared Source Initiative through an Academic Tools
   Source License.

   The company also announced the [77]25 recipients of its 2003 Microsoft
   Research (MSR) University Relations Innovation Excellence research
   grants. Microsoft selected the 25 recipients from 152 submissions, and
   will award $3.5 million to the chosen projects.

   The open source community has made tremendous strides in the halls of
   academia, where a platform like Linux has great appeal for students
   because it is free and it can be taken apart and examined. This has
   the potential to become a big problem for a company like Microsoft,
   which is generally regarded with antipathy by the open source
   community for its perceived ruthless business practices and the
   jealous guarding of its secrets -- a practice that is at loggerheads
   with a culture that has grown up with the mantra "information needs to
   be free."

   A future in which generations of young programmers are brought into
   the Linux fold and not trained to utilize Microsoft platforms could be
   a disaster for the company. To combat this problem, Microsoft created
   the Shared Source Initiative, a program which gives access to the
   Windows source code to certain customers, partners, developers and

   "Today's announcements are about working with academia to foster
   innovation and help students and professors be successful," said Eric
   Rudder, senior vice president for the Developer and Platform
   Evangelism Division at Microsoft. "Academic developers are defining
   the future at educational institutions around the world. Our mission
   is to make our software and programs so easily accessible that
   students and educators are limited only by their own imaginations."

   With the new Academic Edition, and the [78]Shared Source Common
   Language Infrastructure (CLI), also known as 'Rotor' -- which offers
   up the core source code of the .NET Framework -- Microsoft aims to
   give students and educators a look under the hood of its environment
   and allows them to use multiple programming languages, including
   Eiffel, Scheme, C# and Java to learn their craft.

   "The Shared Source Initiative, and particularly 'Rotor,' is vital in
   helping us achieve the learning objectives of our .NET MSc Distributed
   Systems Development graduate program," said David Grey, professor of
   computer science at University of Hull in England. "We strongly
   believe that providing our students with the inner workings of the
   .NET Framework and the Shared Source CLI as part of this degree
   program will give them a significant edge in research and in expertise
   needed to excel in the areas of Web services and mobile and
   distributed computing."

   Visual Studio .NET 2003 Academic Edition will be available through
   subscription to the MSDN Academic Alliance program, which computer
   science departments can join for $799.

   The Visual Studio .NET Academic Tools Source Licensing Program will
   become available through the Shared Source Initiative in summer 2003,
   providing access to the source code for Assignment Manager Server,
   Assignment Manager Faculty Client and Assignment Manager Student
   Client. The program will allow professors, students, academic
   researchers and independent developers to use, modify and redistribute
   the licensed source code of the Assignment Manager for both commercial
   and non-commercial purposes, including the creation and distribution
   of derivatives for non-Windows-based applications. (#)