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The future of open source...more lock-in

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Just when you think Tim is an optimist, he reminds you that he's somewhat of a realist. His post came in response to a quote from Nat Torkington, talking through the implications of Adobe, Microsoft, and Sun beating down the doors to open source competing technologies first.

Tim disputes that any free love is being passed around, and I think he's right, though perhaps for different reasons. Tim doesn't really go into this, but much of the use of open source today is offensive, not defensive. Some companies toss around open source as a defensive way to staunch their bleeding (not naming names...), while others do it as a proactive way to undercut competitors.

So, all this open sourcery has a highly capitalist bent to it. In other words, Nat, it may well be about 'we win by killing.' That's certainly not the mindset of many of us in the industry, but it's there.

Tim implies (at least, I think I see an implication in his comments) that we've reached the second phase of open source: the Google phase.

Full Post.

The blog post makes valid points

in that the Linux community is getting alot of attention because the 'desktop' has progressed to the point where it's 'usable' for the masses. But where do we go from here and do we continue to just play 'catch-up' or are we going to build on what we have and truly make some innovations. Adobe Apollo, Sun JavaFX, and Microsoft Silverlight have great promise, but we're going to be left 'hangin' like we were for Adobe Flash 9.0 if we don't figure out a way to integrate these new apps with the Linux desktop.

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