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NewsForge: What if Microsoft Decides to Go Open Source?

Mar 20, 2003, 23:30 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Donald K. Rosenberg)

"People often speculate about Microsoft's bringing out a Linux version of Office, but everyone assumes that they would never try to Open Source their products--after all, Microsoft is the acme of proprietary software. But they have begun to twirl the seven veils lately. While Microsoft's critics denounce Shared Source as a sham, at least it's a move away from binary-only, and although its rule is 'look, don't touch' and limited to a privileged few, Shared Source is a concession to the power of Open Source in the current software industry.

"Someone at Microsoft must realize that Office will eventually be cloned (OpenOffice is a start), ruining their market; if IBM can speculate that someday AIX may be dropped because Linux has grown up, wouldn't it be better for Microsoft to enter the Open Source software industry and survive?

"They wouldn't do it all at once. No one there will bet the grand cash cow Office, let alone the operating systems that are offered as secure because their source code is secret. They will pick an important product, one not in the Office suite but instead one used by many people in many offices. It might very well be Microsoft Project.

"From what we see in the Open Source software market, we can expect five results..."

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