Windows / Microsoft
Microsoft's detente with the open-source world is growing stronger by the minute. Steve Ballmer said today that he wouldn't consider an open-source-based business model a deterrent to buying a company Microsoft found interesting.
From our Better Late Than Never dept: as expected, the Open Source Initiative has approved the two "shared source" licenses submitted by Microsoft. The OSI says:
Microsoft's employees like to flap their lips about Linux violating patents, but they seem to know they have nothing that would actually stand up in court. They claim that there are at least 235 Microsoft patents that are being violated. Somehow they came to the conclusion that the Linux kernel alone violates 42 patents. That's probably the worst insult I've heard in a long time. How is it that the Linux kernel, which works completely different and more efficient than Windows, violates their patents. It sounds like a case of jealousy to me.
Microsoft never has lost its hardball edge. In a discussion with Gartner analysts at Gartner's annual Symposium ITxpo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called his competitors "pretenders."
So Steve Ballmer's rattling the sabers again, saying that Red Hat is violating Microsoft intellectual property , and that Red Hat customers should pay for the privilege. More of the same old song, but slightly more than, to quote James Brown, "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin.'" That's because Microsoft seems much more interested in forcing -- I mean, "persuading" -- open source solution providers to forge relationships with Microsoft than it is in actually suing customers. We'll just have to see what happens if and when one or more Linux or open source solution providers refuse Microsoft's kind offers of alliance and cooperation.
Given the importance of the Microsoft Windows platform in global IT, perhaps it is time for Windows to be opened up and made open source. Indeed, while some may consider such a move unthinkable, a number of benefits could be had from it, for both Microsoft and the global IT world.
When it comes to desktop and network systems, small businesses have little choice but to go with the status-quo offerings of Microsoft, right?
Wrong, says Richard Giroux, IT manager at Whitelaw Twining, a boutique law firm in Vancouver. Last winter, when it was time to upgrade its Windows 98 and 2000 operating systems, the firm instead chose Novell's SUSE, a version of Linux.
After the International Organization for Standardization voted to reject Microsoft's Office Open XML document format as a standard, the detailed results from ISO member countries give us a lot of material to analyze.