In the beginning there was Microsoft. Then it exploded.

by Volker Weber

Charlie Demerjian has an opinion piece in the Inquirer:

Every so often, there is a big shift in an industry. The shifts are not usually visible until long after they've happened, making you look back and say: "Oh yeah, things were different back then".

We are experiencing a major IT industry shift right now, and if you know where to look you can actually see it as it happens. This shift is all about Microsoft and open source.

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Great article, and I might link to it myself.... only problem is the publication, really. If it were published in a "mainstream" publication, it would really rock the house.... A lot of it is conjecture, but most of it is based on reality, and especially the reality that exists outside the borders of the USA.

Ed Brill, 2003-12-28

I know. It takes a good article to make me link to this publication.

He misses one point. Microsoft could change. As did IBM.

Volker Weber, 2003-12-28

But then, it has been a lot easier for IBM than it is for Microsoft. Even IBM had to let go of some parts of their former business. But instead of being in so called evolving markets, these parts (mostly) operated in an already saturated environment.

Stefan Rubner, 2003-12-28

which reminds me, MS announced the beginning of the end of support for win2k earlier this month; where i work, the whole network and most workstations are win2k, but the IT manager saw this coming (my guess, and we haven't got the money to switch over to win2003) and, over the past year, has been slowly shifting things to linux (production servers, tests, file&print servers, etc). our current big problem is rational clearcase, the win and linux versions apparently don't play well together (or don't at all), and of course, bringing some employees up to speed for linux (management and sales are going to be a b*tch)

alexei, 2003-12-28

Yes, this was a good article and I'm glad it was picked up by the Domino community ;)

2004/2005 will be the year of change for Microsoft. It must change to survive the new IT landscape. I believe Microsoft can change direction radically within a short-time. Anyone remember the Microsoft response to the Internet? Firstly, denial & fud, then creation of their own "closed" version and finally total about-face and alignment.

.Net is a strategy Microsoft can pursue for change, also Microsoft are entitled to use GPL software just like the rest of us and there is nothing *really* stopping Microsoft from releasing a Microsoft distribution of Linux.

Also - as one door closes, another one opens. Porting the (good) Microsoft products to Linux would also be a smart move.

That's my thought for the day anyway.

Cheers doods

Justin Freeman, 2003-12-29

I may do a piece on this myself, but I think the thing everybody misses is the hidden assumption that operating systems are a commodity. "If I need an OS Linux is as good as Windows is as good as OS X" because they all do pretty much the same thing.

Well, at some level that's true, they all handle interrupts and switch tasks, and so on. But what I think is different is that MS can focus hundreds of developers on really hot new features in a way the open source community cannot. WinFS, Avalon and Indigo imho can only be done at Microsoft -- no way the open source community can ever innovate like this.

In fact, no way can the open source community innovate at all! The Java Desktop System slavishly imitates the Windows XP UI; OpenOffice is a poor substitute for Office; and hardly a day goes by when I don't read something on Slashdot about how some hacker hooked some Windows DLL inside Linux (the last one was about using ntfs.sys -- a Windows driver -- to read NTFS-formatted partitions).

So what's new about Linux besides price? (Which advantage is going away now that Novell has bought Suse, Red Hat, abandoning client-side Linux, is only about the enterprise, etc.) It seems to me like a lowest common denominator OS; it has a false reputation for better security (compare the number of CERT alerts, Linux has more than Windows); it doesn't do as much as Windows.

Barry Briggs, 2003-12-30

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