Lost in the ballyhoo about Microsoft "opening" its "secret code" to the world is evidence of real world adoption of the Shared Source programs. Fortunately Microsoft-Benelux has some answers. And they prove that the scheme is far more successful at gathering press coverage than actual users.
According to Microsoft-Benelux presenter Dirk Tombeur, out of 150,000 software developers, only 15 have signed on since the program was launched in July 2001. That makes a conversion rate of around 0.8 vendors per month. This presentation can be found here (via Slashdot).
"I think most people don't want their employees using the source code everyday. Really, they don't. That's a distraction from real work," Ballmer said last year.
There are five Shared Source programs aimed at public sector users, educational facilities, OEMs, system integrators and large enterprise customers, the latter defined as having 1,500 client licenses.
Is "Shared Source" being de-emphasized, along with the .NET brand? Last week, Microsoft said it has signed the Russia government for a parallel program " Government Security Program", which has ten adopters so far. This deal offers "controlled access" to around 97 per cent of the code, and we discussed it here
Hard figures on the adoption of the other programs are hard to find. However, at the current success rate, Microsoft can look forward to reaching half of the world's OEMs by the year 7812 AD (CE calendar), and all of them by 15,625 AD.
Full steam ahead, then. ®