Shrinks Calling Microsoft
An interesting article on The Register about the flood of “we funded this study but that doesn’t matter because it proves windows is better than linux” that Microsoft has sent out lately. Taken with the grain of salt that Register articles must always be taken with, they have a point. There was some discussion a while back about how Microsoft was going to the various Linux shows and expos to “educate” people, because they believed that they were not choosing MS because they didn’t know all the facts.
Reading some of the weblogs in the .net and MS circle, that seems quite true. Several posts on various MS oriented weblogs mocked linux with “how can you ever make money if you give your software away.” I’m wondering if it’s not the other way around. Maybe MS should be educated about how it all works. Maybe the idea that instead of creating a software “widget” and selling it, you can build a bigger “widget” out of open source software (which has the source code available) and then seling that is an alternative. Or selling support.
I make my living now coding Perl with Mason on Apache and mod_perl (all free, open source projects) to create a portal type system that is used to entice the selling of physical widgets. I used to work at a company which created a hardware firewall project that used Linux and the Linux firewall and VPN systems at it’s core. Why not use Microsoft? Cost I think, plain and simple. No having to pay for $1,000 (at least) for the devloper tools, for the Embedded Windows licenses, for the Client Access Licenses, and whatever else that Microsoft would no doubt have made us use. Oh, and the security, I shudder with pity for anyone running IIS these days.
Silverstr is doing windows development and is finding (not always pleasently) about the costs associated. Because he’s dickering around in low level stuff he has to buy the extra-super-nifty low level developer kit, which is another $N,000. I belive at one point he paid $500 or $1,000 for a DVD which included the same code from several years ago and as a teaching resource, a handycam of a 199X developer talk or something. Oh, you want access to the whole API Mr. Str? Sorry, the hidden stuff is for us alone.
I understand that this is how Microsoft makes money. I understand that they are trying to protect the software model that they’ve had for the last 30 years (though the new “pay us each year for software that you don’t own” thing is new. I understand that that’s why Linux, or at least the idea of linux scares the hell out of them.
Maybe a trip to Redmond to educate some of the Microsoft developers about why the linux software (and business) model is different (not necessarily better) is in order.
Of course, you’re not going to change peoples minds, so why bother. I’ll continue what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years thankyouverymuch.