Let freedom ring

by Volker Weber

It is really a rare occasion that Ray Ozzie does not get it: [Update: Interestingly enough, Ray has pulled this rant from his weblog]

Maybe it's just me, but I can't understand why so many creative developers spend their precious and valuable time putting effort behind software based upon old models, e.g. OpenOffice or Linux - which seem so "tired" at this point - when there's such an incredible opportunity to "press the reset button" and take new net-centric, people-centric, groovy approaches - even if to these same old problems. So many creative minds; what a waste, or what an opportunity.

I think he talks too much to Billg. Who also does not get it. :-)

I can only speak for myself. I am using Mozilla. Why am I doing that? There are a number of reasons, and at least one of them is enough reason for someone to create a second browser:

1. Freedom to not go to MSN search, whenever I make a typo.

2. Freedom to not concede to MS EULAs.

3. Freedom to ban Popup Ads. And other neat stuff.

If you get bossed around enough times, you are no longer willing to make even small concessions. IBM has learned that in the 80s and I assume it is now time for MS to learn the same lesson. No matter how many smart people they hire or partner with.

I understand that this is hard to see from an American viewpoint. You can fail if you listen only to your customers. Ken Olsen has learned that when he thought nobody would buy that junk (the IBM PC). But IBM made a very smart move: they open sourced the BIOS. When they realized what they had done, it was too late. The PS/2 was closed and it failed.

The GPL has unleashed another animal. Let freedom ring.


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