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Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Microsoft needs a help strategy
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 10:47:55 -0500

"Rjack" <> wrote in message">

THE GPL IS THE BEST FRIEND MICROSOFT EVER HAD. Open source advocates are ideologically blinded to these facts.

That is an interesting spin to the issue!

The reality is that the GPL has no practical effect on anything of any importance in terms of market development. One could, perhaps, take GPL code and attempt to create a new software product by extending the GPL source in some useful way, but, if you think about it more deeply, that is ever so unlikely to be successful.

For example, say you could safely, without getting ground up in the gears of the SFLC or FSF, hijack the source code for Open Office or Gimp or even Linux itself. If you try to sell it as a product by itself, with nothing added, you are going to fail, since the product is already available at essentially zero cost and you have nothing to differentiate yourself. If you add some useful improvement, you are still faced with a market that is mature and will only spur the incumbent suppliers to duplicate your improvement for their own products. The customers will classically wait for the incumbent to adopt the new feature. Can you seriously believe that another office suite or graphics package or OS platform can make any headway against things like MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, or Windows itself? The marketing and business issues involved in such an endeavor totally swamp the technology issues.

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