Open Source Leaving Microsoft Sitting on the Fence?
From: DaveAI (junktarget_at_yahoo.com)
Date: 22 Jul 2004 09:33:35 -0700
The open source model, with special regard to Linux, has no doubt
become a formidable competitor to the once sole giant of the software
industry, Microsoft. It is expected when the market share of an
industry leader becomes threatened, retaliation with new product or
service offerings and marketing campaigns refuting the claims of the
new found competition are inevitable. However, in the case of
Microsoft, it seems they have not taken a solid or plausible position
on the use of open source applications as an alternative to Windows.
I read on a daily basis the latest ventures of Microsoft from the much
publicized "war on Linux" to surrendering and publishing portions of
their source code. In their first argument, executives of the Redmond
Washington company regard Linux as everything from a "waste of money"
to a threat to the well-being of the software industry. During these
arguments, Microsoft executives stick by their original perception,
attempting to position open source software as a less secure, less
technologically sound option that does not only offer inferior
solutions but is inherently bad for the financial and developmental
growth of the industry. Although proved wrong time and time again by
accredited analysts, journalists and customers it is a fair position
for a corporation to take when their competition has them against the
However, what is puzzling to me is that Microsoft never seems to stick
with that argument. Whether they are intentionally or unintentionally
releasing portions of their source code to the public, they themselves
have implemented a "shared source initiative" in recent years.
Coincidentally, this program mirrors the benefits brought fourth by
the open source development process in which segments of their source
code are released to the public intended to be used as a resource for
developers. Originally, backing up the view that open source was
substandard and dangerous, the program operated under a "look don't
touch" policy, however, in recent months the software giant has
changed its tune offering participating developers the chance to
modify and propose ways to improve upon the available code.
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