Does Microsoft Really Need to Compete With Open Source?

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's something that's a bit dated (a few weeks old) but something I've been meaning to mull over and comment on. On May 28, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie said that...

Open source a more disruptive competitor than Google (as reported on ZDNet by Mary-Jo Foley)

Mary Jo Foley goes on to report that: Ozzie said that competing with open source “made Microsoft a much stronger company.” He cited changes Microsoft has made to its business model — such as focusing on making its closed-source software interoperable with open-source products — as directly attributable to that competition.

If you take this view and combine it with the information we've been reading over on...

Microsoft Port 25

...it really looks like Open Source is not only a beneficial disruptive technology for Microsoft, it is also also becoming more of a "co-opetition" partner. Zend, Spikesource, and Novell/SUSE are just some recent examples. And, there are also the in-house projects like IronPython and IronRuby. There's also cooperation between Microsoft and the Mozilla Firefox and Samba projects.

This is certainly better for all concerned than the Microsoft vs. Open Source situation just a few years ago. Is there a lot of work to be done? Sure. Are there going to be more issues and fireworks in the future. I wouldn't be surprised if there is :-)