[Via Stefano] I reached this post about a thought experiment regarding open sourcing SQL Server under the GPL. The author is a former Microsoft employee, and he spends quite a bit of time trying to explain how GPLing SQL Server will not hurt Microsoft business model. The terms that he suggests are similar to the way MySQL works, a GPLed products for free and a commercial version + support avialable for $$$.
I just don't see the point here. SQL Server is one of those products that I feel that I can rely on with my eyes closed, and while having the source might be nice to DB geeks out there, I just don't see the big value there. (Having the source to the client UI would be nicer, but even this one has a good extention model for what I want.)
Frankly, as an OSS proponent, I just don't see the point. Microsoft doesn't stand to gain anything from this, except lose potential revenues. From my projects alone, I can count about ~100,000$ in licensing fees for SQL Server that wouldn't have made it if SQL Server was avialable under the GPL*.
SQL Server is one of the revenue streams of Microsoft, and I don't see this changing. Offhand, I can't recall any successfull, revenue generating, product that was open sourced. If I were to make that decision, I would have definately said NO.
The BCL, on the other hand ... :-)
* Choosing SQL Server is mostly influenced by the fast that Microsoft is behind it, that it has great tools and a lot of community behind it.