Creative Commons License

Blog powered by Typepad

« SCO Group Finale! | Main | Free and Open Source Software Developers Working for Free (Economics 101) »

19 September 2007


Dalibor Topic

If all it took for people defining Microsoft's strategies was a couple of softball questions from reporters ... Bill Hilf would be running the place by now, and have Ballmer reporting to him.

It's not a messaging issue. Ballmer and others who actually get to make decisions (and own the company) do not want to ever have their profits threatened by open source, and the best way to make it not happen is to contain, or preferably kill it if they get a chance. While Microsoft's well cultivated arrogance comes from the top down, it's unrealistic to assume that it's just arrogance and/or ignorance that's keeping open source from sweeping Microsoft.

Ballmer and his team aren't stupid, just regularly underestimated. ;)

Uncle Fester

Steve Ballmer is right: open source is not a business model Microsoft can embrace; because shrink-wrapped Windows+Office is a $40 billion business and open source is not.

That doesn't mean open source is not a great business -- open source is good for everyone except Microsoft. It's a good business for competitors Red Hat and MySQL; but it's a smaller business. It's great if you're a customer; *because* it's a smaller business. Open source is more efficient.

But until you identify a means of extracting $40 billion from open source then Steve is right: it's not something Microsoft can embrace. They must fight it. Which is why their cosying up to open source -- you can't control something from the outside.

rishab ghosh

if i was a microsoft shareholder, i'd probably agree with ballmer. and also the ms open source lab. microsoft has for years sent more people to most open source conferences i've been to than any other company - know your enemy, i guess. the open source lab appears to be doing a lot of work at trying to make friends in the open source community where useful, and understand how open source works.

great preparation for the day, if it comes, when microsoft feels it cannot (due to customer pressure) go on with its vendor lock-in, embrace-and-extend strategies. even if that is going to happen sometime, it's in microsoft (and shareholders') best interests to learn as much as possible about open source while at the same time continuing with the $40 billion rent-seeking near-monopoly for as long as possible. when the day comes, they needn't bother about how much the current open source community loves them; they'll have an enormous community of their own to work on ms office released under, e.g., the ms community licence...

The comments to this entry are closed.