I recently noted that Microsoft transitioned some of its dynamic language tools (IronPython, IronRuby, and the DLR) from the OSI approved MS-PL license to the more well-known Apache license. The MS-PL is not a bad license as far as things go; it’s actually very similar to the Apache license (as well as the BSD license and the MIT license). So why the change? Microsoft cites that the developers it’s targeting for these tools are more familiar with the Apache license.

I don’t see why it matters. In this case, both licenses essentially say, “do what you want with this and don’t sue us” and that is about it. But some developers clearly care not just about the content and meaning of a license, but the exact type of license it is when they choose an open source tool.

When you are evaluating an open source development tool, how important is the kind of license it uses to you? Let us know by answering this poll question.