Subject: Re: [coallesced replies] Re: how to create 21,780 new free software jobs (2,530 in R&D)
From: Rob Helmer <>
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 14:44:22 -0800

On Sat, Nov 09, 2002 at 02:00:59PM -0800, Tom Lord wrote:
> Right.  Personally, I think the execs at those providers can accept
> the schematics of the plan on first principles and invest in top notch
> R&D for it based on first-principles reasoning (reinforced by
> historical experience).  If nothing else (which seems unlikely), they
> can get ROI on ancillary merchandise.
> Sadly, perhaps, an xbox or pad-class platform would work very well for
> this and MSFT's recent licensing, auth, and architecture experiments
> are the proprietary variation.

Microsoft, eh? Well, let's just give up then. :)

Seriously though, both IBM and Sun's recent contributions to
the Linux kernel, GNOME, Mozilla and many other projects are
also something that can be harvested by the small companies 
for free as well, it goes both ways. These three projects
are pretty important as far as the idea you have suggested
goes, in my opinion.

I don't think Sun and IBM are much interested in the minutia of maintaining
end user's desktops, they mostly seem to be targetting businesses.

Microsoft is concerned about maintaining control of the "end user
experience", they also do not seem to be in any antitrust trouble
with regard to being in so many markets at once and leveraging
their monopoly power to succeed.

However, they seem to be quite vulnerable to the "not built here"
syndrome. They do reuse their own software components pretty
effectively, but they don't seem happy just licensing technology
( instead opting to buy the company ) or cooperating with anything 
besides standards bodies when it comes to software interoperability.

One strength of free software that people within both Sun and IBM
have realized is that you get alot farther by using and improving
on what is there than you do from taking concepts into a clean
room and reinventing the proverbial wheel with your R&D dollars.