Open Source: Its Still All about Control

 
 
By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-08-23 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Opinion: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

What do Microsofts offer to do a joint, independent research project to analyze the benefits of Linux versus Windows, Miro fighting with Mambos developers over Mambo management and Suns Common Development and Distribution License all have in common? Theyre all about control. There is this delusion by some open-source opponents that open-source and free software is some kind of wild-eyed, long-haired socialist experiment by neo-hippies who dont bathe, dont have real jobs and sneer at the capitalist, work-a-day world. The fact that IBM—capitalist company of capitalist companies!—has bet it all on Linux seems to have escaped them.
Its not just IBM though.
Despite the dopes who insist that theres no good reason to switch from Windows to Linux, Microsoft knows better. CEO Steve Ballmer himself counts Linux among the most significant challengers Microsoft faces—not because of anti-Microsoft bigots—but because there is a real business choice between Linux and Windows. So, since Microsofts Get the FUD—darn I keep doing that!—Facts propaganda campaign isnt holding Linux back, Microsoft is trying to regain control of the marketing wars by claiming that it wants to get past the hype and let the best operating system win in an independent test. Microsoft asks the OSDL to work with it on a joint, independent research project to do some facts-based analysis of Linux and Windows. Click here to read more.
Yeah, and Cindy Sheehan really expects George Bush to meet with her and fall down on his knees and beg for forgiveness for the Iraqi war. This is a standard PR gambit, in which you offer something that sounds reasonable to the naive, but is impossible in the real world. Were the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs) to meet with Microsoft, just how successful do you think theyd be in reaching an agreement with Microsoft on an independent study? Somehow, I dont think Microsoft and the OSDL could ever get on the same page. And with every delay Microsofts head penguin basher, Martin Taylor, would wring his hands and say how Microsoft is bending over to be fair. The very thought is enough to make me gag. The OSDL should turn down Microsofts "offer" as quickly as possible. Next Page: Battle over Mambo.



 
 
 
 
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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