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Re: [ossig] FW: [bytesforall_readers] FSFE: Early comment on new Microsoft Shared Source Licenses

On 10/22/05, nsh@pop.jaring.my <nsh@pop.jaring.my> wrote:

This brings to mind a discussion we had some time ago when the possibility
of MS making MS-Windows open source came up and some some people did
venture to say that it is not that un-thinkable for that to happen if the
environment and business conditions call for that as MS will still be able
to make money from its other software, services, content etc.  In fact if
MS-Windows was made open probably even more people will use it and with
this MS will stand to gain in the sales of the rest of the proprietary
software it still has as well as the multimedia, messaging and content
services built around the MS-Windows technology environment.

This discussion is entirely academic of course. It's like asking "What If Sauron Decided To Voluntarily Give Up All His Rings Of Power To Join The Hobbit Weed Farming Community"?

Microsoft isn't *just* about making money. They love to do that sure, but the central axis of their belief system is that in order to make money, they must be master of the entire IT industry, and all other software makers must submit to their will.

"One OS To Rule Them All And In The Darkness Bind Them"

They control the OS. They control the APIs. They control the file formats. People upgrade when they them to. Other software developers license SDKs and dev tools from *them*. They hold all the keys, guard all the exits, and basically dominate and call the shots. MS execs sincerely believe that Microsoft should control all software instrastructure from the top of the stack to the bottom. All that marketing fluff about "better integration from a single vendor" simply means "we own you".

It's not just about money. It's about power. By keeping things proprietary they hold *power*. By making Windows open source, they give up power. And if we learned anything from The Lord Of The Rings, *nobody ever easily gives up power once it's in their hands*. Not even if they know it's detrimental for them. Thus is human nature.

-= Nur Hussein =-