Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: Peter Wayner <>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 20:30:15 -0400

>I looked up MSFT's latest financial release
>(operating results for Sept 02 quarter, Oct 17).
>They had $7.4B revenue and $2.7B net income.
>EBIT was $4B and they paid $1.3B in taxes.
>In the Sept 01 quarter (a really bad quarter)
>EBIT was $1.9B and they still paid $600M in taxes.
>Do you still think that proprietary software is not
>a great business model?

It's not really fair to say that just because MSFT is making tons of 
money that this is the best thing for society. I'm not saying that 
it's not, but I don't think that it's fair to measure things by how 
much they are monetized.

Consider the work of women. In times past, the house work was not 
monetized. The women didn't make a salary and didn't pay income tax 
on it. Now, we've pushed them to take jobs outside the house and 
outsource their work to restaurants, cleaners, and cheap labor 
overseas. The women make a salary, pay income tax, and then pay sales 
tax on the products that they buy to replace the work they used to do 
for "free." Is society better off? The GNP is higher. Women have more 
mobility and control. But everyone is fat because restaurant food 
isn't as healthy. The kids are all on ritalin and can't even ride 
their bikes outside anymore because no one is around to mind them.

Business is great for solving many problems but so is the commonweal. 
Open source software is clearly the better choice for many people. I 
actively use it and contribute as much as I can and this isn't 
because I can't afford to buy real stuff. The open stuff is just 
better than the monetized software I purchase from MS, Adobe, and 
everyone else. So I would rather stuff be in teh public domain.