Microsoft today launched the Codeplex Foundation "with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities." If you are a bit jaded by all the various open source foundations, the rationale here is that Codeplex is for Windows-related open source projects.
Since there already are a variety of Windows-related open source repositories, the question is what is the point? The rather fuzzy rationale for the Codeplex foundation is:
We believe that commercial software companies and the developers that work for them under-participate in open source projects. Some of the reasons are cultural, some have to do with differing software development methodologies, and some have to do with differing views about intellectual property. In general, we are going to work to close these gaps. Specifically we aim to work with particular projects that can serve as best practice exemplars of how commercial software companies and open source communities can effectively collaborate.
Er, but what about the existing Microsoft open source project repository Codeplex.com which is designed to appeal to business users too?
The Foundation is solving similar challenges; ultimately aiming to bring open source and commercial software developers together in a place where they can collaborate. This is absolutely independent from the project hosting site, but it is essentially trying to support the same mission. It is just solving a different part of the challenge, a part that Codeplex.com isn’t designed to solve.
Maybe they will sponsor a project to parse press releases. The sense I get is that the Codeplex foundation will sponsor a few selected projects, while Codeplex.com is open to all.
Anyhow, the initial board of the Codeplex foundation consists of Microsoft employees plus Miguel de Icaza, guiding light of the Mono project at Novell, and Shaun Bruce Walker, head honcho for DotNetNuke, both of which are existing Windows-related open source projects. Microsoft is also providing the initial funding.