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Concerns Over Microsoft-MIT Pact

Here are just three of my concerns about MIT’s new I-Campus partnership with Microsoft:

Much of the world is too poor to afford proprietary software. Will the fruits of this partnership be available to them?

In the past, MIT has made significant contributions to the world’s pantry of open-source software (e.g., the X window system that is in use on millions of computers). Will MIT now discourage its community members from using open-source software, and give them incentives to switch to Microsoft software?

Also, MIT has resisted in court Microsoft’s efforts to force researchers to hand over source material [“Microsoft Loses Bid for Sloan Research,” Oct. 9, 1998]. Will it be less inclined to guard its researchers now?

I’m looking forward to reading your coverage of this issue.

Dan Kegel