Aras Corp. was a small, struggling software maker that stirred up a hornet's nest early last year, when it made a pair of seemingly contradictory decisions.
First, the Andover, Mass.-based company made its expensive Ã¢â¬â we're talking up to a million dollars for a single license Ã¢â¬â product life-cycle management (PLM) software available on a free and open-source basis.
Second, rather than trying to curry favor with the mainstream open-source community by making even a vague commitment to port its software to Linux, Aras said outright that it would continue developing only for Windows. And instead of distributing its wares through a mechanism such as the GNU General Public License, the company decided to use one of Microsoft's so-called shared-source licenses, which at the time had yet to be accepted by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) as legitimate open-source licenses.
The reaction, unsurprisingly, wasn't favorable.
May 9, 2008