So Devin posted about Z-Push, the cool-sound open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol. Here’s the problem: the Z-Push folks kinda forgot to buy a license for EAS, and I have a problem with that. After years of complaints that Microsoft wasn’t being open and sharing its protocols, they started to document the behavior of their protocols and offer some of them for licensing, EAS included. That’s good, right? It’s good enough for Apple, Google, and the many other companies that licensed EAS, anyway. However, apparently Zarafa wanted the benefit of Microsoft’s labors without being willing to pay for it, so they built their own implementation. I don’t think that’s fair, and I don’t think the technical coolness of Z-Push should obscure the fact that Zarafa is stealing something that isn’t theirs.
This is what I said in 2002:
Hey, Linux guys: if you want to beat Microsoft, do it by making something better, not by copying their investment.
What happened to Lemonade? How about Funambol? It’s not as though the FOSS world lacks for sync protocols; they just decided that Microsoft’s commercially successful, fully licensable protocol would better suit their needs, so they took it. It boggles the mind. It would be one thing if the protocol were fully open to all implementers, but it’s not. If you don’t like the licensing terms, build your own protocol– that’s not hard to understand, is it?
5 responses to “Z-Push considered harmful”
Also, EAS is open and free to use, no license required, since a couple of years back. Hence why suddenly everyone supports it.
Nice! Glad to see the FOSS community is keeping things classy. Also, you’re wrong: EAS is not open and free to use.
Next thing you’ll be saying is that the FOSS people can’t produce a better file system than VFAT.
You must not know much about the linux/unix world. It is full of protocols and standards which were designed from the ground up. Free software allows small business to have a fighting chance. How does it help an entrepreneur with little startup capital to purchase a server operating system for $1000 + exchange + 10 copies of office + + + +…. You get the idea. While this model works okay for some, it does not work for all.
What I know is that I run an exchange-like server at my business on a computer which was purchased for $89. Software cost was zero, and it only took me about 12 hours to set up. I really don’t feel like I have harmed anyone.
Sorry I have not paid money for ideas, concepts, thoughts, 1’s and 0’s, intangibles.
You should check out http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-au/library/cc425499%28EXCHG.80%29.aspx
It’s been opened up as part of Microsoft’s “Interoperability Principles”. You should probably read up on those. They represent a huge paradigm shift in the viability of FOSS.