Steve Jobs sighting, monoculture and software ecosystems

Steve Jobs sighting, monoculture and software ecosystems

Summary: While attending the Blog Business Summit this afternoon, I ran into chief Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble (right), who told me (along with IE7 product manager Dean Hachamovitch and SOAP and RSS pioneer Dave Winer) his tale of running into Steve Jobs at lunch. Star struck, Scoble introduced himself and the others, and true to form Jobs said, "It's nice to see that you're copying our stuff.

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TOPICS: Apple
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scoble.jpgWhile attending the Blog Business Summit this afternoon, I ran into chief Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble (right), who told me (along with IE7 product manager Dean Hachamovitch and SOAP and RSS pioneer Dave Winer) his tale of running into Steve Jobs at lunch. Star struck, Scoble introduced himself and the others, and true to form Jobs said, "It's nice to see that you're copying our stuff."

Meanwhile on BTL, David asks if one man's corporate standard is another man's (or woman's) monoculture, and whether the mitigated risks of a polyculture outweight the benefits of a corporate standard/monoculture.

In his blog, John Carroll describes Microsoft's mostly proprietary monoculture as a software ecosystem, and outlines what he thinks are the challenges for a competitive open source ecoystem:

The single biggest force holding back the growth of open source software are the Free Software vigilantes who view proprietary software as tantamount to slavery. That puts open source in the productive category of nations that prevent the female half of the population from working. Open source programmers do great things, but proprietary software can benefit from both the efforts of open source programmers AND the efforts of those who create for financial gain.

John encourages the open source community to learn about pragmatism and profits. Many companies and people I have met who are wedded to open source intimately know those two elements. They have profound philosophical differences with Microsoft's variant of a software ecosystem. On the pragmatic side are companies like Google, which leverages open source everywhere it can and keeps its secret sauces secret. Red Hat, Novell, Sun, etc are building open source stacks that will challenge Microsoft more in the coming years. It's not a zero sum game, and all sides will end up moving toward a middle ground....

Topic: Apple

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9 comments
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  • Is this a glaring error?

    First, good for Steve to make the comment that it is good to see his stuff copied. Second, Steve and company are amongst the first to embrace open source technology into proprietary hardware, strategically outsmarting Microsoft and enabling Apple to create the most superior hardware/software combination on the planet.

    But why was Apple left out of the list that included Novell (their Linux product is mediocre) and the others mentioned in the article? And Mac OS X is the only OS that can be operated on both Power PC and Intel chips?

    I dunno, something I don't get about the IT community and particularly about John Carroll. High quality computing capability is valued less than the numbers on the purchase order. That seems pretty wacked to me. It is clear that Apple is far and away the leader in providing great hardware and software performance, security, incorporating the best of both open source and proprietary approaches to software, yet a comment from Jobs seems to offend the thin skins out there.

    BTW, I think John Carroll should declare in all further blogs whether or not he holds stock in Microsoft (he's the net's biggest fanboy of it), if he is a Microsoft Partner and whether or not he pays for all his software from Microsoft.

    I hold Apple shares. So you can be suspect of my remarks if you wish, but I owned both Wintel and Apple products long before I held the stock.
    mlindl
    • Declaration

      Carroll declares "John Carroll has delivered his opinion on ZDNet since the last millennium. Since May, he's been a Microsoft employee." at the bottom of each of his blogs. Is that not enough.
      It tells me quite clearly that his opinion is going to hold bias and it might be well worth finding an alternative source to match up against on the subject.
      D._z
      • more declarations

        John is transparent about his affiliation...and I would add that we have many alternative sources within ZDNet's blog network that have a opposite point of view...and we welcome your view on the subject...

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=1597
        dbfarber
    • glaring errors

      Agreed on the desktop Apple is superior but as an ecosystem that spans the entire software stack for enterprise, Apple doesn't play in that game--Sun, Novell, Red Hat, IBM etc....do.
      And, John Carroll is transparent about being an MS employee....so his bias or allegiance is clear.
      dbfarber
  • Apple and Microsoft are kidding !

    For the record , Microsoft is copying Apple , Apple in turn copies from the OPEN SOURCE community when it comes to software .
    EliteSysUser
    • Here's the Difference

      http://www.apple.com/opensource/

      Now show me a comparable page at Microsoft.com that talks about
      how they're using Apple's technology.
      Immanuel Tranz-Mischen
    • Everybody is kidding then...

      OpenSource also copies any good ideas they find from Apple. Did you take a good look at KDE lately?
      Anti_Zealot
      • Apple copied from zerox

        who originally created the whole GUI "windows" type interface.
        John Zern
        • To summarize...

          Apple copies Xerox, Microsoft copies Apple, Microsoft copies OpenSource, OpenSource copies Apple again, and Microsoft as well.

          How nice! :)
          Anti_Zealot