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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 13:32:18 -0500

"Sermo Malifer" <> wrote in message news:glkp5g$6qn$
amicus_curious wrote:

"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.

Or you could create software that runs on a GPL OS but that is not derived from its source code.

The GPL has no bearing on that situation and hence no practical effect.

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.

IOW, if you could steal somebody else's work and pass it off as your own.

Exactly.  If there were no GPL, then what?

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.

IOW, you can't get away with stealing somebody else's work and passing it off as your own.

Not at all. IOW you cannot make a buck being a "me, too!" supplier of something that exists already.

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.

IOW, the world continues to work as it has in all markets since the time civilization began, long before computers existed.

Correct.  The GPL doesn't do anything useful.

The customers will classically wait for the incumbent to adopt the new feature.

If that were true we'd all still be running Word Perfect on CP/M!

Again you miss the obvious. If Word were not orders of magnitude more useful and capable than WordPerfect on CP/M, we might still be using WordPerfect albeit on Vista. But that is not the case and WordPerfect is dead as a dodo.

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?

Yes, I can believe that being a computer user is not synonymous with being a Microsoft customer.

You are pretty much alone in that belief.

The marketing and business issues involved in such an endeavor totally swamp the technology issues.

How do you explain Apple's success in selling systems based on BSD Unix? Perhaps you ought to lend your business and marketing expertise to IBM, Sun, Orcle, etc, to show them what a mistake they're making in supporting open source software?

Apple sells Apple Macintosh computers. Period. The product line has been in the public eye for 20 years. BSD Unix is never mentioned and is not protected in any way by the GPL anyway.

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