E-Commerce Times Talkback
See Full Story
There's no doubt about it, Microsoft is a behemoth. It has permeated the computer industry and has an enormous amount of clout. So, what's to rain on Microsoft's parade? Actually, a threat is emerging that can do considerable damage to this powerful software company. The threat is free software. This article will look at this threat to Microsoft's business and what responses the company should be making to this threat.
This guy doesn't know beans about Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS), so take what he says with a grain of salt. First of all, the www.linux.org web site is hardly representative or very important to the F/OSS community. Almost nobody posts to its talk back section for news articles. It is the sort of website created for newbies who doen't know anything about linux.
Second, linux is very commercial and very capitalistic today. In fact, I think linux has been very capitalist friendly since 1998 in my opinion. Even Richard M. Stallman, the guy who is considered the most anti-commercial element of the F/OSS world, will tell you that his Free Software Foundation was the first organization that figured out how to get paid to create Free Software. The idea that Free Software is anti-capitalism is to fundamentally misunderstand how Free Software can be monetarized. I suggest you read the book Open Sources. The founders of Cygnus, Red Hat, SuSe, and all the other F/OSS companies saw very clearly how Free Software can make lots of money and compete in the market place. They sell services and support and software integration, not licenses. In fact just about every traditional tech company (IBM, Novell, Intel, Dell, HP, Oracle, SUN, Apple) have embraced some aspect of F/OSS as a way to make money, reduce costs, expand markets, and create products faster.
The fact is that the paradigm for creating computing technology has shifted and Microsoft has refused to shift with it. If anything Microsoft is anti-capitalistic with the way that its monopoly controls markets and F/OSS is the capitalist alternitive. It is a fleeter, more nimble alternative which reduces costs and gives customers more alternatives. Free competition for the best product is the essence of capitalism and we ought to be rejoicing that F/OSS has reinjected capitalism into an anti-capitalistic market.
The other side of capitalism can be viewed in countries like Brazil. People there do not have a strong believe in capitalism. While the patents, trademark, and big enterprise domination has helped USA and Europe economy grow, it has the opost effect in poor countries. There capitalism created a mecanism for exporting value and work for other countries. Brazil decision try to revert the bleeding of sofware licenses and develop local market. Microsoft just are in the midlle of the shoot out. Just is the best example.