Weblog:   The Human Face of Microsoft
Subject:   leverage the indestructible
Date:   2003-02-16 14:53:49
From:   anonymous2
Response to: leverage the indestructible

These are several quotes from his article that cause me to question his real thoughts and intent.

"disgruntled Microsoft wannabes have poured huge quantities of often inferior, but nonetheless requirements-driven, open source software."

Open Source developers are NOT "Microsoft wannabes". We have seen and experiences first hand the terrible distruction of the Microsoft model on the rest of the development world. And we most certainly do not wish to duplicate it.

"accelerate the divergence of the open source platform, and have other undesirable results."

The growth and divergance of the open source plateform is an 'undesirable result' to whom?

"Microsoft must survive and prosper by learning from the open source software movement and by borrowing from and improving its techniques."

This is a clear statement of the embrace and exstinguish tactic. The methods of open source and Free Software, collectively known and Libre' Software, are NOT just another form of software engineering. They were evolved out of necessity because of their natural immunity to the financial and legalistic attacks used by Microsoft to destroy any sign of potential competition way before it could ever get to the 'market place'.

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  • partisan but not unfair
    2003-02-17 13:41:25  mentata [View]

    Stutz did work for Microsoft after all, and I'm sure he experienced his share of bruising from the "Libre" community at the helm of Visual Basic. He is also speaking directly to Microsoft and he wants them to listen, so I'm not surprised he doesn't exactly pledge allegiance to the GPL and indiscriminately bash their own offerings.

    You sound principled, and on that I am entirely with you, but I think you're taking his jabs too personally. The open source community is not *entirely* comprised of enlightened and heroic developers: some really do just want the money or prestige even as they dodge the requisite responsibilities. Divergence can become a bad thing when it leads to ugly and unfair competitive practices, which we've seen from many vendors in the software industry, not just Microsoft (although they're truly ugliest when employed by the king of the hill).

    I also think Microsoft should be given the opportunity to change and repent. It may be as likely as Dick Cheney joining Greenpeace, but necessity comes from many angles. It's important to note that free and open software pre-dates the Microsoft monopoly. By creating backlash, Bill & Co. may have contributed to the momentum, but the open source revolution now clearly cannot and will not be extinguished. The amazing thing is, that's Stutz's primary point, too.

    As a related aside, I absolutely cannot believe how many people are out there running Tomcat with IIS. Is there no threshold for pain anymore?
  • Tim O'Reilly photo leverage the indestructible
    2003-03-01 12:03:06  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    You're showing your biases here.

    1. "Open Source developers are NOT "Microsoft wannabes". Of course most are not. But there has been an awful lot of Microsoft imitation among OSS developers, building clones of Windows, Office, et al. So much so that Mitch Kapor started the Open Source Applications Foundation to start trying for some real innovation in the open source desktop applications space. Years ago, I gave a talk in which I said that OSS developers shouldn't try to be the next Microsoft but should try to be the Intel Inside of the next generation of applications. I continue to feel that so much of the OSS rhetoric has in fact been shaped by trying to imitate or compete with Microsoft, rather than in celebrating OSS's pioneering efforts in new markets, from the Internet to areas like bioinformatics. I'm almost unique among vocal open source advocates in saying that these areas are more important than the areas in which OSS competes with MS. So I don't think that Dave's comment is off the mark at all, though it is a little strongly put. (But remember, this is a message written to his former colleagues at Microsoft.)

    2. "The divergence of the open source platform." If, like Dave, you believe in interoperability, divergence between OSS and Microsoft in key markets like the internet is a bad thing for both parties. Nothing suspicious here. The Internet thrives on interoperability. Microsoft should be embracing (and not extending) a lot of what OSS has done.

    3. "Microsoft must survive and prosper by learning from the open source software movement and by borrowing from and improving its techniques." This is great advice. What are you smoking? Microsoft shouldn't learn from a software development methodology whose whole raison d'etre is to make it easier for people to learn from and build on the work of others? This is as bad as any Microsoft behaviors you decry.

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