Could Microsoft's CodePlex Actually Go Independent?

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 23, 2010

When Microsoft quietly announced that Stephen Walli, a veteran from the open source and open standards arenas, would take over as Technical Director of the company's CodePlex Foundation, there wasn't a lot of pomp and circumstance. Walli knows his way around open source, though, and some are wondering whether, under his stewardship, CodePlex could free itself from Microsoft and become independent.

Walli worked at Microsoft for many years, and has substantial experience in the world of commercial open source. Glyn Moody, on the topic of whether CodePlex can become independent, writes:

"The CodePlex Foundation is seeking now sponsors so that it's not just Microsoft's money that is paying the bills. More significant, I think, is the fact that it is happy to accept projects from any company – including competitors of Microsoft, Walli emphasises – running on any platform. Walli sees a real need for a place where companies can place their open source projects. Because of this emphasis, he places great store on getting the intellectual monopoly issues sorted out – aiming, he says, to follow the Eclipse model of assignment rather than the Apache one of licensing."

If Microsoft does allow CodePlex to become independent, it would usher in some of the best kinds of PR for the company, but PR only goes so far. It would be very unlike Microsoft to completely untether CodePlex right when it is starting to take on a critical mass of projects.

It's worth reading Moody's thoughts on CodePlex and his interaction with Walli, who sounds like he likes the idea of an independent CodePlex. Could Microsoft set CodePlex free? Stranger things have happened.