"'The world refuses to be governed badly.'" That was
the motto of Sir William Petty, the founding father of political
economics. It was his way of saying, a century before Adam Smith
codified the insight, that competition had a way of breaking up
even the most entrenched monopolies.
Sure enough, while the state attorneys general yesterday studied
their options now that the US Justice Department has settled, IBM
announced it would donate $40 million worth of Java-based software
to the burgeoning open-source software development community, in an
effort to galvanize it further. Details, including the creation of
a research consortium with a multicompany board, will be announced
this month. Red Hat, Rational, Merant, QSSL, TogetherSoft and other
open-source companies will be involved.
The name of the new open-source software is Eclipse, as in the
overshadowing of Microsoft's proprietary approach that IBM hopes
eventually will take place."