I posted what I thought was an innocuous post on Bill Gates’ comments on the superiority of Vista over Mac OS X, and spent the rest of the weekend approving comments. I’ve never had so many comments on a blog post. Traffic, already quite healthy, went up 388%.
Because Mac people and Windows people seem to have more mutual scorn than open source and Windows people have for each other. Just one more reason to believe that open source is an opportunity for Microsoft, not a threat. Macs and Windows are separate entities, though virtualization is changing that. Open source and Microsoft need not be.
All that said, I do think we need to remove the political and/or religious vitriol from the discussion. I lean pretty far to the “Left” on licensing issues - I prefer the GPL to the BSD, for example. But a license is just a license. Microsoft could use OSI-approved licenses as easily as it does its Shared Source licenses. It chose not to for a range of reasons (mostly out of caution, in my view, which caution should dissipate over time). But it could.
A license should begin the conversation, not end it. The real conversation is about customer value, which really is about service. You can roll some of that service into the code itself, as Jason Matusow once told me is one of Microsoft’s goals. That makes sense, and I think it’s good for customers, but customer value will always be more than just code.
Regardless, that’s what the debate should be about. What license/software/service/etc. drives the most customer value? Not whether my Mac is prettier (it is). :-)