Subject: Re: How Microsoft Thinks
From: Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 21:23:11 -0800

At 21:05 -0800 11/5/98, Russell Nelson wrote:

>If they do that, they won't be Microsoft anymore, since Microsoft's
>business model is based on having a monopoly over operating system
>sales, distribution and support.  You don't get that monopoly on an
>Open Source product.  They would be a different company -- still named
>Microsoft perhaps -- but a company that operates in a totally
>different manner.

Well, when I started in the field three decades ago, that description
would have fit IBM very well.  These days, however, we see IBM trying
its hand at cooperation with standards bodies, Apache, etc.

>Probably the most cogent observation made about Open Source and the
>software market is Bob Young's that it's his job to turn a $5 billion
>market (none of which he owns) into a $500 million market, some of
>which he already owns, and plans to own more of.

When telephones were first being introduced, someone made the comment
that, at the current rate of growth, every woman in the country would
end up being a telephone operator.  And, indeed, the prediction was
correct: every man, woman, and child in the country has learned how
to perform functions once done by "operators".

This is not to say that Joe Sikspak will end up becoming a programmer;
just that "impossible" things can happen quite easily when there is a
large enough paradigm shift...

-r

Rich Morin:          rdm@cfcl.com, +1 650-873-7841, http://www.ptf.com/~rdm
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