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SIIA Responds to Microsoft Statement on Open Source

May 05, 2001, 18:45 (19 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Case Roole for this link. ]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 3, 2001
Ken Wasch, SIIA President (202) 452-1600 ext. 310

(Washington, D.C.) The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) today responded to statements critical of the Open Source model for software made by Microsoft executive Craig Mundie.

"Microsoft is once again publicly making the case that innovation in the software industry should happen only at the discretion and direction of Microsoft," said Ken Wasch, SIIA president. "There is no 'one size fits all' solution for the software needs of corporations throughout the world. Yet Microsoft is employing public relations tactics to incite fear among businesses that are considering migrating to the Open Source model."

"Furthermore, Microsoft's assertions that its business model embodies the open-source movement through current practices of sharing source code is incredulous," continued Wasch. "While it is certainly reasonable for a software publisher to maintain proprietary practices regarding the sharing of source code, it is safe to say that Microsoft shares certain, but not all, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and only does so when it is in the best interests of the company, not in the interest of dynamic innovation within the industry."

"If we could offer some friendly advice to the Microsoft PR effort, we would suggest an approach such as 'We [Microsoft] welcome competition from the Open Source movement, and through that competition, customers will recognize the superiority of our [Microsoft's] solution.' Instead, they seem to be saying, 'we win when customers have no choices.'"

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association of the software code and information content industries. SIIA represents more than 1,000 leading high-tech companies that develop and market software and electronic content for business, education, consumers and the Internet. For further information, visit http://www.siia.net.

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