Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Here is a depressing note from a guy who spent over two years, along with his mate, developing a piece of Open Source software. http://www.etomite.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=2209 Eventually the application got really popular and ´took off´. The author eventually decided to create a new, commercially-licensed application from scratch, leaving the original Open Source application to the community. But the response he received from some of his users was so virulent that he ended up closing down the project completely.

In non-software terms, this would be like the owner of a free soup-kitchen setting up a café on the same street with the intention of handing the kitchen over to one of the employees. But then he sees the original soup-kitchen burnt down by his enraged former customers. Not necessarily a great explanation but anyway, it reinforces my belief that Microsoft doesn´t have to panic about the ´Open Source Threat´ just yet, there are too many real human organizational questions to be worked out bit by bit first. That said, I think in 50 years time Microsoft will just be a memory.

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