"To the casual observer, Microsoft seems to have changed its
ways. Closer inspection shows that it remains a heavy-handed
monopolist.....Inside the software industry's 800-pound gorilla,
the heart of an incorrigible monopolist beats still. So speaks
Yet, hard core Linux Users and battle-ready cadres of OSS
aficionados wonder about the wave of Windows developers and users
descending on the fiercely independent shores of their
computationally advanced domain. Would these interlopers share the
vision, see the light, and determine finally to chase the future in
a way that benefits all to the exclusion of none? Will they come to
appreciate and love the technology, or are they just victims of
their own shortsighted selfishness now fleeing for their lives? And
if this is LinuxToday, why are there so many Microsoft stories?
The Economist article cuts to the chase and explains the MS
dilemma through the lens of current MS activities. It's simple.
They shot the sheriff and are now preparing to ravage the citizenry
with heavily disguised .NET temptations. But will anyone ever trust
The article (and background information) concludes that all the
M$ open standards and open interoperability posturing is a cynical
ruse. The primary motive being to create a .NET developer and user
dependency on proprietary distributed web service protocols before
the anti trust trial can reach conclusion. M$ can't force the
transition to .NET if they're split in two. But once transition
momentum has reached critical mass, a Jacksonian remedy wouldn't
matter. The Internet would terminally be split into .NET dependant
users, and the rest of us.
So what has this to do with LinuxToday? One could righteously
argue that up till now the growth of Linux has been based on pure
technology prowess and achievement. It also helps that Tux is a
"faster, better, cheaper" way of doing almost anything
that needs to be done. Open source itself is a most efficient way
to solve the unsolvable without compromising objectives, all the
while unleashing imaginative innovations from the most unlikely and
widely dispersed sources of insight.
But this is a different calling that echoes down the talkback
alleys of LinuxToday. A sense that a possible tragedy of enormous
proportions is brewing. .NET shadows concerns of unwitting
competitors and unknowing users alike. With a growing sense of
doom, corporations, systems providers, and users find themselves
increasingly interested in Linux, wondering whether the anxiety
heavy heart of the matter can be explained in this fiery hot
cauldron of community creativity. Sadly the interest comes not
because Linux is a technically superior platform or more adaptable
solution, but because the community force of Linux/OSS has a
critical mass momentum most able and likely to defend against
deceitful challenges to open standards, openly shared methods, and
open models of collaborative computation.
With each passing day the headlines announce the arrival of
another most unlikely corporation to embrace the Tuxmeister. It is
not out of love for technology or lust for profit that they come.
It's a hidden and oh so damnably primitive instinct for survival
that has our collective neck hairs torqued hard in icy cold
rigidity. We might not understand the deep growl behind the daily
onslaught of happy lucky us .NET announcements, but something
within us knows the primordial roar likely to follow. Given the
Damoclean invitation of Microsoft extended standards, protocols and
schemas, the search for a port before the storm hits is on. So why
not go where so many others, including competitors, have gone?
The Economist speaks to a decidedly corporate, business, world
finance crowd. They are saying don't buy into the .NET ruse. But
they offer no alternative, and for sure one must be found. The
world of distributed web services is upon us. The infrastructure
players are all struggling for position. I'm a hardened J2EE~J2ME
kind of guy myself. So I wonder why the Economist sees the world
differently? A more optimistic view would have them directing their
readers attention elsewhere, towards likely solutions.
My guess is that they know this is much more than a technology
problem. The Internet has ushered in a collaborative world where
loosely organized communities of shared interest can find each
other, and using open standards, shared methods, and open source
solutions, can resolve even the most fiercely complex problems.
Linux, Apache, and even the Internet itself are proof enough of
that. The great unanswered question might well be, can the
Linux/OSS community make the transition from universal problem
solving to universal standards setting? The critical mass of
passionate network engineers and developers is there, but where
goes the heart to welcome and embrace the problems of a world
Some of the products that appear on this site are from companies from which QuinStreet receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. QuinStreet does not include all companies or all types of products available in the marketplace.