[Linux-aus] Microsoft is a reality, please just deal with it [Was: SMH and The Age :)]

Jeff Waugh jdub at perkypants.org
Wed Feb 26 09:24:02 UTC 2003

<quote who="Con Zymaris">

> 1) No one (not even Microsoft) has been able to clearly define what .Net 
> actually is or does. This adds fuel to any pyre branding the technology 
> problematic from the perspective of the FOSS community.

The .NET developer framework is well defined and understood. That they've
chosen to name everything else under the sun ".NET" is their own marketing
problem (which they're fixing).

> 2) By applying for a patent on some parts of the .Net framework,
> regardless of which parts and regardless of the merits or success of the
> patent application, Microsoft is making its intention of proprietal
> demarcation very clear. One cannot claim, in the same breath, that a
> technology is an open standard and also encumber it with patents. This is
> totally disingenous, and smacks of the RAMBUS wrangle of last year.

To you, coming from a particular perspective on the patent argument (which
Microsoft obviously does not subscribe to), perhaps this is disingenuous. To
others, it is perfectly reasonable and honest. See the W3C 'Reasonable and
non-discriminatory' policy discussions. It's not black and white.

> 3) We, who are well versed in the nuances of licencing and of details
> within technology, need to speak out when Microsoft claims adherence to
> 'open standards' yet patently does not do so.

Do we? It's always good to have a few arguments to hand, but on the whole,
your average punter (on the street, or in the CIO's office) won't care. Far
better than having a smoking gun argument is having a smoking gun product.

Again: We have to compete on actions, not on words. Microsoft realised this,
and put the executive sock in Mundie/Ballmer's mouths. The "GPL is a cancer"
arguments were as childish and uninformative as "Windoze" and "Micro$haft".

So if Microsoft's marketing people grok it, what on Earth is going wrong in
the Free Software community, and closer to home, on linux-aus? :-)

Let's just pimp our own achievements and successes, please.

- Jeff

    Markets are what you sell bubbly health drinks, fluorescent blow up     
                furniture and mobile phone ring melodies to.                

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