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I, Cringely: How Microsoft's Misunderstanding of Open Source Hurts Us All

Oct 27, 2003, 08:00 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert X. Cringely)

[ Thanks to hey for this link. ]

"This week, speaking at a Gartner conference in Orlando, Florida, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said some fascinating things about Linux and about Open Source software in general. And thanks to those remarks and the blinding realization they caused for me, I finally understand exactly why Microsoft doesn't understand Open Source...

"At the core of Ballmer's remarks is a fundamental misunderstanding not only of Open Source, but of software development as an art rather than as a business. Cutting to the bone of his remarks, he is saying that Microsoft developers, since they are employees, are more skilled and dedicated than Open Source developers. They are better, Ballmer suggests, because Microsoft developers have their rears (presumably their jobs) on the line. All those lines and all those rears are part of a road map, he says, and because of that road map the $30 billion plus Microsoft gets each year isn't too much for us to pay, so the model works pretty well..."

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