NASA, Microsoft Collaboration - Open or Closed Source?

NASA embraces Microsoft format -- but adds an open-source twist, TechFlash

"That technological balancing act is among the details revealed in a federal Space Act Agreement establishing the terms of a collaboration announced by NASA and Microsoft earlier this year. The text of the agreement wasn't disclosed at the time, but NASA has now released the documents in response to a request made by TechFlash under the federal Freedom of Information Act."

"The text will get a close look, at least, from people worried about governments tethering themselves too tightly to Microsoft's technologies. The agreement is non-exclusive, leaving the door open for NASA to make similar conversions to formats used by alternative space-viewing programs. But data formats have historically been a source of conflict between Microsoft and open-source advocates concerned about government agencies leaning too heavily on proprietary approaches, making them de facto standards."

Editor's note: Unfortunately Microsoft is not known as being a friendly open source kinda of company. There's some strange things going here. Not on NASA's part, but Microsoft. The annex of the agreement says NASA will release the software tools developed under the agreement. The article says however that Microsoft described the software as proprietary. That text has now disappeared from the Microsoft page in question. As well the WorldWide Telescope Academic Development Kit in question, which is supposed to be available according to Microsoft, appears to have disappeared as well.

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This page contains a single entry by Marc Boucher published on May 29, 2009 1:21 PM.

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