Big Evil Wants to Play Nice Now?

We know, we know, we've done enough Microsoft news this week, and we promise this will be the last one — February is a short month, and we have to get our quota in or the Boss'll take away our stapler. We couldn't pass up this opportunity, however, as it's the first time in history that the "Microsoft" and "Open Source" can appear in the same sentence without the phrase "desperately wants to crush."

According to an announcement from Empire CEO Steve Ballmer, Open Source's greatest enemy now wants to be its biggest friend. If Satan's Little Helper is to be believed, the monomaniacal monopolists have seen the light and to prove it will be releasing the details of APIs for it's biggest products as well as software patents in order to make interoperability with Microsoft products easier. Even better, they've promised not to sue anybody who uses the documentation for non-commercial Open Source software, a catch that sheds light on what they're really up to: maintaining the status quo in prettier packaging.

We tend to agree with the European Commission: We've heard this one before. The Commission's statement indicates that it doesn't put any more stock in Microsoft Bull 2008 than any of the company's other statements, and will be continuing with its investigations into massive anti-trust violations. MS, for its part, swears the announcement wasn't an attempt to slither out of the European investigation — it just has a "unique legal situation."

Is it too much to hope that their unique legal situation will involve dissolution and prison sentences sometime in the not-too-distant future?

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