Open Source (continued)

I’ve seen a few comments and received a few emails since I posted my dual posts on Open Source and most of them accuse me of way oversimplifying the issue.

I plead guilty as charged for oversimplifying. I must have spent too much time listening to the President. But I did decide to sell my Microsoft stock and I am happy about that decision regardless of the comments and emails I’ve gotten.

The whole Firefox experience opened my eyes to the fact that Open Source is becoming a consumer phenomenom. A desktop experience. I’ve always thought that Open Source was an IT thing or a geek thing. But I think that’s changing and Firefox is leading the way. Others will see that as an opportunity and consumers are going to get choice. And this choice is going to be driven by something other than a company that can be put out of business my Microsoft’s monopolistic powers. It’s going to be driven by a “tidal wave” of community driven software development.

I am convinced this is going to happen. It won’t put Microsoft out of business any time soon. It may never put Microsoft out of business. In fact I doubt it will even hurt Microsoft much in the short run. It may hurt others first. MySQL may hurt Oracle faster than Firefox and Linux will hurt Microsoft as one reader asserted correctly in my opinion.

If I had owned Oracle, or IBM, or Computer Associates, I’d probably have sold them too.

Finally, a few readers have suggested that Microsoft is changing their strategy regarding Open Source. They want to embrace and extend Open Source, the way that Sun and IBM have done. I tend to doubt it. Bill and Steve have never played well in the sandbox if you know what I mean. But if they were to open up Windows or IE to open source extensions, then I’d begin to think they’ve seen the light. Until then, I’ll stay out of their stock.

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