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Bruce Perens: Microsoft and Apache - What's the Angle?

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For a decade, Microsoft was open source's worst enemy, combating it at every turn. But last week Microsoft joined the Apache open source project as a platinum sponsor, promising to put $100,000 per year into a project that beats its own IIS (Internet Information Services) in the market. Microsoft also made some of their patents available for use in GPL software like Linux without a royalty. Has Redmond given up the fight? Or is this just their latest strategy?

Years of Ill Will

Just a few years ago, Microsoft exec Jim Allchin called open source "an intellectual-property destroyer, I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business." Craig Mundie called it unhealthy and economicaly unsound." But that was the old Microsoft, not the new cute one with an Apache feather in their hair and Bill Gates gone forever.

Now they just want to interoperate, right?

Wrong. You wouldn't have to look too far to convince yourself that Microsoft still engages in hard-edged fighting against open source. The Office Open XML standard has recently been pushed through ISO with so many irregularities in process that four nations complained. There already was an ISO-accredited office document standard called OpenDocument, created by the OpenOffice team. It was one-tenth the size of Microsoft's effort, and did the same work. But it would have put Microsoft and open source on an equal footing. Office Open XML, in contrast, is 6,000 pages long, so large that it's not possible for a programmer to learn it in his or her useful lifetime. That'll keep the open source folks from ever handling files quite the same way that Microsoft does.

So much for interoperability.

Where is the truth.....

For one this is, I think a very good article... But as always there is the premise of the bad and the ugly and the last good hero... There is no such... Open Source has established his foothold in the IT bussinnes, that is a fact. And I think stopping shouting around "we are here, we can do that also, we are better" becomes really obsolete, because as a fact the market share for Open Source is slowly overshadowing the MS bussinnes model and paradigm. He is crazy, you tell to your self. No I am not... There is one real good sentence and as such it is the abosolute truth

...Microsoft's proprietary software paradigm focuses on the sales of software instead of the much larger economic value of using software....

Look at Vista, you buy it, you use it, it breaks (oh it realy can and will), if you call the MS hotline and you have OEM, response is please contact your hardware reseller or you have a full package hmm try to reinstall the system... People MS does everything that you can not use his own OS.... The MS support lost definitely touch with us the people. It functions in terms of big and bigger... As the fact you can not use the OS, you bought it, payed for it, but you can not use it. Damm, so where do we look now, there is Apple nice, beautifull shiny, but with restrictions hard as MS, and there is the Open Source world, ready to burst with visions, power, inovations pushing the terms of using and supporting to much wider and higher degree and scale... Yes they are Big firms like IBM, Sun, Novell, Dell and more, which understood that, they naturally play a two face game.. Yes that true but slowly they understood you can give (give not sell...) the people an "unperfect" piece of software, so they can use it, test it, and patch it, but you give them the free or buy support alternative, not just contact there or reinstall the OS and you see.... Dell made firmware for his ntbs with nvidia also for Linux users....
You bought the ntb with Linux so there is the support not just call nvidia or contact mr. Torvalds he will make it into the new kernel version... This the future... This were Open Source shines it is its flexibility, many eyes see better then few... And the good news is you can make money with it... No just, we sell you a broken piece of code and you can wait until we decide is broken and need to be repaired...

MS must face the truth, the old times begin to fade... With Google on the Web...the Pinguin poking from every hole, looking strait into the eyes of the old slowly teethless shark Smile O yes the is the Mojave Experiment.... nice try MS, but as always the objectivity of it is a completely different story....

P.S. sorry for long a not so good english at 11.30p.m. Slovakia/Europe I am tired, but I had to shout it... howk...

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