Microsoft continues rocky relationship with open source community

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Blurb: Microsoft is funding CodePlex – a new venture aimed at bringing open source and proprietary software firms together to work side-by-side on open source projects.  At the same time Microsoft continues to pose a litigation threat to open source communities.

Microsoft’s continues rocky relationship with open source community

Microsoft has founded and is providing the funding for a new foundation – called CodePlex — aimed at bringing open-source and proprietary software companies together to participate side by side in open-source projects.  

CodePlex has for some time been the name of the site on which Microsoft hosts open-source projects.

Microsoft contributed US$1 million and the CodePlex name to the new foundation. Microsoft historically has had a thorny relationship with the open-source community, but in the past couple of years the company’s Platform Strategy Group has been trying to work more closely with open-source companies.

At the same time, however, Microsoft has continued to pose a litigation threat to open-source companies over patents it claims to hold for technologies incorporated in open-source software, including Linux.

Motorola on Thursday announced its first Android smartphone, which will ship in the fourth quarter with T-Mobile USA under the name Cliq. Android is the open source mobile operating system developed by Google.

The new Motorola  touchscreen phone will use an upcoming Internet-based service for Motorola phones, called Blur, which will integrate information from users’ contacts on a variety of social-networking services including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Blur users will be able to combine their contacts on all those networks into one contact list, organize their own groups or divide contacts by social network, according to Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of the company’s Mobile Devices group.

Like other handset makers, Motorola is struggling to compete with Apple’s iconic iPhone. The stakes may be higher for Motorola because it hasn’t had a big hit since its original Razr earlier this decade, at least a generation ago in the handset world.

Less than two weeks after Apple launched Snow Leopard, the company has issued the new operating system’s first security update. And in a separate upgrade, Apple patched 33 vulnerabilities in 2007’s Leopard, and about half as many in the even older Tiger.
The updates were the third and fourth from Apple in the last two days. Wednesday, Apple delivered security fixes for the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as another upgrade for its QuickTime media player. Users and security researchers had taken Apple to task for not only shipping Snow Leopard with an outdated and vulnerable version of Flash Player, but also for silently “downgrading” once-secure editions when Macs were updated to the new operating system.

A new search engine, called, aims to protect the sensibilities of Muslims by filtering out content that is “haram” or forbidden by the faith.

The site will warn people if they are searching for a query that might return explicit content, site-founder Reza Sardeha said. Besides developing the search technology, Sardeha and others in his team, based in the Netherlands, have also introduced a two layer filter. 

When users get a haram rating of level one or two out of three, they are advised to choose another keyword to search, but they can still continue their search if they believe the results will be clean, Sardeha said. The site was launched earlier this month, and has received more than 400,000 unique visitors so far, Sardeha said.

And those are the top headlines from the IDG Global News Update brought to you by the IDG News service. I’m Marc Ferranti in the New York bureau. Stay tuned later for more news from the world of technology.

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