Weblog:   The Human Face of Microsoft
Subject:   leverage the indestructible
Date:   2003-03-01 12:03:06
From:   timoreilly
Response to: leverage the indestructible

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.