Microsoft Open Source Strategy: CodePlex keeps Growing

Yesterday Microsoft announced that the number of projects hosted on CodePlex breached the 10,000 mark, just after CodePlex celebrated its third anniversary.

Even if numbers are not impressive compared with Google code – becoming home to over 80.000 projects in half the time – it is definitely a measure of how seriously Microsoft is taking its open source strategy.

Having been consulting to Microsoft on open source strategies and implementations, I happened to talk about open source at Microsoft when it was both unprecedented and unpopular. At that stage many said Microsoft would have not raised any interest among open source developers, but Codeplex’s growth prove they were wrong, and not only that.

Looking at CodePlex licensing usage statistics, it turns out that 36% of projects are released under the now famous MS-PL Microsoft license, but more notably 20% of them are released under the GPLv2 (and about 7% under the LGPL). A sign that Microsoft is managing to reach out to different developers audiences.

Microsoft’s patent affection is still an open issue though, but Microsoft removing hurdles from Mono just did another step in the right direction.

We need more good news like this, and we need Microsoft to be consistent with its open source strategy.