Monday, 7 February 2005

... and so it came to pass that Microsoft was based on unix all along. While this isn't exactly news, it is a useful reminder of the reality behind Microsoft's version of history. They started out as opportunistic as some of their latter day competitors, so their implication that the fragmentation of unix was a bad thing, not to be repeated, and implying that they are merely custodians of some OS standard that must be preserved is rich, to say the least. As is Gate's comment about AT&T not realising what they had (in unix) and be very hard to deal with. Sound familiar? Although I think this time round it is worse: the protagonist knows exactly what it has, and is willing to fight, fair or foul, to keep it... even to the extent that it has created a nemesis that is essentially a guerilla movement: amateur idealists giving their software away for free: Linux. And what is this software based on...?

UPDATE: just saw this (ZDNet) containing an analyst's response to Bill Gates' complete misunderstanding of open source. He cites another interesting reason for not having interoperability problems: less incentive to fork.
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