[CS-FSLUG] What would happen if MS went FOSS

Don Parris evangelinux at thefreelyproject.org
Tue Jun 14 10:03:21 CDT 2005

On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 03:22:13 -0500
Aaron Lehmann <lehmanap at lehmanap.dyndns.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 14, 2005 at 09:06:16AM +0100, 'Mash wrote:
> > On 6/14/05, Fred A. Miller <fmiller at lightlink.com> wrote:
> > > "Microsoft officials themselves also have been dropping hints about
> > > doing more open-source projects. In fact, Jason Matusow, the director
> > > of Microsoft's Shared Source program, has been using his Weblog
> > > recently to start trying to catalog the myriad Microsoft shared- and
> > > open-sourced projects that are below the radar."
> > > 
> > > http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1823267,00.asp
> >  
> > 
> > Morning, 
> > 
> > I was just wondering after reading this article what would happen if
> > MS decided that
> > following Windows Longhorn that the next realease of Windows would be
> > Opensource?
> > That MS was moving towards releasing all there new software as FOSS.
> > 
> > Would the company suddenly collapse, would the stock market be affected
> > ?
> > 
> > Just a thought, how would it impact the IT world ?
> I imagine that Windows would suddenly get drastically better if MS went
> to an open-source model, because there wouldn't be hideous pressure on
> coders and testers to meet the release dates set by the marketers.
> Aaron Lehmann
> _______________________________________________

I would definitely consider the possibility of using their software at that
point.  Of course, I would only pull from the stable branch after the
Debian-styled hackers have had the opportunity to address the security
issues.  :)

On a more serious note, I think the impact on the IT world would be mostly
positive.  The question is not so much whether we can profit from LOSS, but
how.  That question will plague software companies until they develop solid
business models.  Once a particular model proves itself, other companies
will catch on.  It will be a volatile market during the transition, though.

Any such move by Microsoft would almost surely give new meaning to the word
"restructuring". ;)  They would have to change their structure to adapt to
the new business model - whatever that looks like.  In not-so-ancient times,
craftsmen living in a village offered services for their village.  They
didn't necessarily own a megacorporation, such as those we see today, but
they generally made a bit of a profit.

I suspect our business models would involve more small ventures (the village
craftsmen) that take on well-chosen projects, and that work with other
vendors in joint projects. They won't so much compete as collaborate. 
That's just my opinion though.  Add about $1.50 to that, and you could get
yourself a cup of coffee. :)

evangelinux    GNU Evangelist
http://matheteuo.org/                   http://chaddb.sourceforge.net/
"Free software is like God's love - you can share it with anyone anytime

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