Martin Taylor makes a political argument

Summary:I planned to go after John Dvorak's Creative Commons humbug, but I got beat, and that's good.So let's instead take a look at the latest from Martin Taylor, Microsoft's general manager for platform strategy.

Martin Taylor

I planned to go after John Dvorak's Creative Commons humbug, but I got beat, and that's good.

So let's instead take a look at the latest from Martin Taylor, Microsoft's general manager for platform strategy.

For News.Com's Eileen Yu, Taylor recently went all Karl Rove on open source, saying things you frankly have to believe in order to believe.

Here's one.  "You can build it, design it, and it will work great. The trouble begins when you want to add things to it, add some services and things like that. Because of the brittle nature of the platform, when you do that, other things break."  This is a classic political argument. Taylor has some fine anecdotes, but anecdotes aren't proof. Anyone can offer an equal number of anecdotes the other way, and many will start from personal experience.

Taylor also reveals that Microsoft's new strategy against commercial open source is to take on those vendors one-by-one, as though Linux were several dozen incompatible offerings. "It's about Red Hat, it's about Novell, it's about IBM...really looking for ways to monetize sets of things around Linux. In some ways, this is a good thing for customers because things are more black-and-white now, and it allows us to have a very balanced conversation with them around these key issues."

Here's my favorite bit. Yu asks about people being anti-Microsoft (some are), and Taylor responds, "Well, first you have to define 'people'" as he riffs on how most people don't want to get under the hoods of what they're running. He's right, they don't. They only want to look under the hood when things don't work. (But "first you have to define 'people'"?!)

The interview is a great "get" for Eileen, and I urge everyone to read the whole thing. Then discuss it. Politely, civilly, in our typical non-partisan ZDNet manner. <g>

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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