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The Industry Standard: Source of Anxiety

Jun 01, 2001, 20:24 (29 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jimmy Guterman)

The Industry Standard addresses the sense of outrage over Microsoft in the Open Source/Free Software communities and concludes that part of the problem isn't Microsoft -- it's disappointment and rage over the fact that Open Source ended up not being a business model after all:

"Since the open-source community went aboveground, there's been a battle between those wanting to change the world (at least the world of software) and those who see open source as a business opportunity. For the former, politics holds sway; the others see only business problems and solutions. It's disingenuous for either side of the open-source crowd to wish Microsoft would leave it alone, since so much of the good will open-sourceniks enjoy emerged from the movement's incessant cathedral-versus-bazaar comparisons between its way of doing things and that of the 'Evil Empire.' If Microsoft had real commercial competition in operating systems or office applications, open source would be a marginal theory, not a movement that has been adopted by the likes of IBM."
"Consortia like XML-RPC, which lets multiple operating systems communicate clearly, hint at promising ways that closed and open systems can interact. As advocates of the open language Perl like to say, there's more than one way of doing things. One of those ways is for open-source businesses to accept the reality of Microsoft's dominance in some markets and provide interesting solutions in areas Microsoft hasn't yet considered. Empires tend to fall apart at their edges, not their centers. Less complaining, more coding. A company can't 'embrace and extend' your product if it can't keep up with you."

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