NewsForge: What if Microsoft Decides to Go Open Source?
Mar 20, 2003, 23:30 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Donald K. Rosenberg)
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"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
"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
"From what we see in the Open Source software market, we can
expect five results..."