Free as in “you can get it in black”

Free Microsoft tools for scholarly communication:

  • This is for real. Don’t mistake the Microsoft research division, which doesn’t sell anything, for the Microsoft product divisions. Tony Hey believes in open access and open data, and is putting Microsoft resources behind them. For background, see Richard Poynder’s interview with Tony Hey (December 2006), and my previous post on the Microsoft repository platform (March 2008).
  • The new tools are free of charge. The announcement doesn’t say they will ever be open source, but Microsoft encourages open-source tools in the open chemistry projects it funds. So it’s possible.

Not cross-platform, though. I can’t take any Microsoft division seriously on open anything until they make tools like this simultaneously available on Macintosh and other platforms. Till then, it’s all just marketing bullshit. Apple’s not perfect in this wise, either; but open from Microsoft usually means “loss leader.”

(Via Open Access News.)

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