Don't get my wrong, I fully support GPL, but it doesn't state you have to open anything. It just states you have to provide a mean to get the GPL parts in source code. Not the proprietary ones.
Incorrect. GPL states that if source code is modified, dynamically or statically linked to anything, the resulting product source code should be provided per request. Hereby all modified or added changes are to be released as GPL, not as proprietary. However, this is good, not bad. Read further why
Current politic have own pros and cons.
For this reason RouterOS is so secure and there is no exploits for system.
But users cant add own drivers and cant build own software for routerOS, that's very bed.
Linux is secure because its open. Exactly because Linux is getting huge amount of testing and beat down, it has security. Exactly same applies to OpenBSD.
Security by obscurity does not work! Obscurity will repell novice attackers, but not professionals.
And a product from a smaller company, being targeted by professional, is much easier target than a opensource product that was tested by huge community and managed by a small company.
I see no reason for exploits to appear if Mikrotik opens up whole source code, while retaining the patent pool.
Even if some exploits will appear, it would be positive, because that would mean they have existed inside before and will be uncovered exactly by opening up.
Users will be reassured that there are no expoits in Mikrotik.
Users will be able to find exploits and submit them upstream.
They will be able to patch them, if Mikrotik crew is too busy as well.
They will be confident that their network is beat-down secure and containing no hidden backdoors.
They will be able to add support for devices, that Mikrotik can't due to limited resources.
All this without Mikrotik risking anything, due to support of only "official release".
Users will be confident that their devices are supported till users have interest, and not when Mikrotik thinks there is interest or has human resources to manage them.
The whole activation scheme will move out and become agreement instead of DRM. It will become more attractive to customers, as customers will be paying for development and not for ability to use binaries. We have a multi-million dollar living example for that, which was able to dissolve huge proprietary-only Sun -- RedHat. We have another upcoming examples, which will dissolve proprietary-only Microsoft -- Android and/or Ubuntu.
Lets take another examples, they are so popular that people are known to replace original firmware with them straight after purchase.
I don't think I will damage any reputation of Mikrotik if I mention them, because I need them as another examples. They are DDWRT and OpenWRT.
The first one was actually born due to GPL violation
Notice, that pro-GPL field, unlike proprietary patent-trolls are always seeking ways to shift company to open development for its own benefit, instead of trying to rip the money away.
Never the less, imagine Mikrotik being forced to open up whole software stack, regardless of how catastrophycal or positive you take it....
Out of Linksys force-opened source code came a project, that is powering routers world-wide now and its hugely successfull. So it was a win for Linksys.
But because this project is not entirely using bazaar(distributed) open(its half-open) model, there is another project, which looks to be winning over it.
As you see, in the end, working with community is much more productive than working against or working in parallel.
Maybe there is a way of using system API tu build custom RouterOS packages and drivers for it without releasing the code of RouterOS. That would be great.
Small steps are great way to go. But for me personally, security never associates with blackbox. On the opposite, black box associates with pandora box.
Still,.. I am not obligating Mikrotik to anything. I just shared my own reasons as a potentual customer, who has NOT choosen Mikrotik for objective reasons.