Drowning in their own FUD?

What a few days it has been!

The largest software company in world makes a couple of public statements regarding their business and claim unfair competition1 from the Open Source community (which is, for clarifications’ sake, pretty much anyone and everyone; from students to individual hackers to small and very large corporations world-wide).

What their true intention was, no-one seems to be clear, even Microsoft won’t explain. But the resulting comments from the industry have been nothing short of astounding:

  • Novell distances themselves from Microsoft as much as possible,
  • Industry experts say their claims don’t hold water.
  • Sun’s CEO explains to the would-be litigants why they are heading for meltdown,
  • Linus Torvalds tells them to put up or shut-up,
  • The author of a report which Microsoft used to start this whole fiasco says they got it completely wrong and about face!

And the list goes on, and on, and on…

From my own perspective I have found a great deal of humour and common sense in the many hundreds of blogs and news articles that have been posted in the last couple of days. There is a real sense that Open Source is gaining ground exponentially and that Microsoft don’t really have an answer.

The publicity this is generating for the Open Source movement as a whole is fantastic. For Microsoft, it must be a total PR disaster.

Out of all the comments and views expressed on-line, those that have been supportive of Microsoft’s stance have been almost non-existent. They don’t look to have many friends right now…

1.Someone PLEASE explain how a company like Microsoft can argue unfair competition? How many times have they been (and still are being) hauled before the courts? How much have they paid out for their patent infringements on others?

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  • Open Source gaining ground? Yes of course

    Open Source gaining ground on Windows? hmm I’d like to see the evidence.

    Vista Ultimate is apparntly outshipping XP, Windows 2003 has a larger install base than Windows 2000 and no doubt Windows Longhorn will have a larger install base than 2003.

    Linux is gaining ground, but its not on the desktop and when its on a server its gaining it from the like of HPUX, AIX etc.

    And with Sun Solaris “open source” (lol) and the development features its got, I dont see “linux” as anything very unique or anything with a real direction.

  • Alan Lord says:

    Hi Damien,

    thanks very much for commenting.

    I’m not sure quite what your comments have to do with this particular article but they are most welcome nevertheless. Could you possibly provide some evidence (links to analyst reports and so forth) to substantiate your data?

    “Outshipping” is an interesting term… The fact Windows XP has been shipping (and still is BTW) since Oct 2001 makes me question how/what Vista is outshipping? On a units per day basis perhaps? And which shipping periods are being compared? First quarter shipments of both releases I would hope. And let’s not forget that there a LOT more PCs in the world now than in 2001… (Although most of them probably won’t run Vista happily)

    I agree that Linux is not yet a force on the Desktop, but it is being deployed quite widely and downloads of distributions such as Ubuntu Desktop are measured in the millions… Dell were recently quoted as saying that 3.5% of their customers use GNU/Linux when they announced they would start shipping Ubuntu pre-installed. This was after over 130,000 people asked them to do it.

    Could you clarify how you know Linux is taking share just from other Unix platforms?

    As far as I am aware, Solaris has not yet been Open Sourced. Although from the noises from Sun it probably will.

    Anyway – thanks again and don’t take this the wrong way. I’m just curious and would like to get as many facts as possible about market change etc. The FLOSS report by the EU was a great example of an independent report. It shows some surprising statistics for the scale of use of FLOSS.


  • govokinolij says:


    Looks good! Very useful, good stuff. Good resources here. Thanks much!


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