[svlug] What's the Business Case for Microsoft and Open Source?
dmarti at zgp.org
Mon Jun 3 16:49:10 PDT 2002
begin Ira Abramov quotation of Tue, Jun 04, 2002 at 01:46:09AM +0300:
> what you are saying is "if it doesn't cover expenses, dump it out as OSS
> instead of burrying it out of sight",
No, "If some other company is making money in this product category,
and you're not, support a free competitor in order to make them
In the Information Technology business, it's always in your interest
to make every other company as poor as possible, because any extra
money they make could turn into a patent that cuts your profit or
blocks you from a future opportunity.
> because here the people making the choices were more technical developer
> folk rather than end-user muggles and PHBs, and their parameters for
> evaluating a product is not limited to PR glitz, but to technical and
> cost effective features. again we are discussing a techno/muggle
> different set of preference parameters. it's a different marketing
> target, you have to agree.
No, I don't agree at all. Some of the best free software advocates
and sellers and managers of Free Software services come from the
non-technical or management side; some of the most shortsighted
proprietary software pinheads style themselves "geeks".
> do you see any customers from the current buyers of MS SQL making
> modifications to the source had it been given to them?
No. A Free version would complement the "official" version and
bring it to new users, not replace the official version in the
hands of those users who have already paid.
> well, I use Apache, Qmail, Gnome, Galeon. did I disrupt Microsoft's sale
> of ISS, Exchange, Windows and MSIE? maybe, but other than that, what's
> your point? a not-so-small minority of the market IS using Free
Prices tend to be lower in software categories in which there is
a featureful Free alternative. Notice that two of the Microsoft
products you mentioned are licensed gratis, and the most expensive,
MS Exchange, is in a category with no featureful Free competitor.
> so here you are saying MS should give away more free-beer software and
> crush competitors?
Yes, of course! It's in their interest to crush not just
competitors, but anyone else in the computer industry. Sometimes
they will be able to deliver a more thorough crushing by making
the software Free as in freedom too.
> > There are some cases in which supporting Free Software is compatible
> > with maximizing long-term profits and/or market share.Not many,
> can you give me a f'rinstance? does the MS public image help or
> hurt here?
AOL is doing the right thing in supporting Mozilla, even if they
never make it their official browser. It means they can get up and
walk away from the negotiating table when they talk about renewing
their MSIE license.
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