Microsoft dances with open source businesses

Microsoft dances with open source businesses

Summary: A year ago open source businesses would see through this like a pane of glass. Now it's more of a stained glass window. After a few hours with the accountant it becomes an appealing offer.

SHARE:
132

Snow White and witch from DisneyÂ’s Snow White, disney.wikia.comOpen source businesspeople are frustrated that their business models is not bringing them enormous returns. Microsoft perceives the threat of open source and wants to neutralize it.

Let the dance begin. (Image from the Disney Wikia.)

If "we're all mixed source companies" then there is no real difference between Microsoft and, say, Red Hat. Microsoft wants merely to share its profit secrets with anyone who is interested in making money rather than political points.

Thus its well-timed release of Web platform installers which can get open source developers conversant with tools like ASP .Net, Silverlight, and the .Net Framework.

The Web installer comes with out of the box support for such projects as Drupal and OSCommerce. Microsoft is aiming to become the largest open source distributor of them all.

The picture above, from the Disney classic "Snow White," illustrates my point. The apple was delicious. The girl ate it and the poison took her. There is no handsome prince in this story, however.

Note the continuum. Here is an open source tool. Here is something with a Microsoft open source license. Here is something with just a Microsoft license. Before you know it you're one of us.

And you should be one of us, says Microsoft. We make money. You're a businessperson, you want to make money too. You don't want to be a dirty hippie in your parents' garage all your life, do you?

A year ago open source businesses would see through this like a pane of glass. Now it's more of a stained glass window. After a few hours with the accountant it becomes an appealing offer.

After all, if pure open source business models don't pay, if we're all mixed source now, why not enter into Microsoft's orbit?

Topics: Microsoft, Open Source

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

132 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • great when the next anti thrust suit againt MS

    is ms wanna play in open source i just hope that people will be intelligent enough to stay away of fight the dirty war.

    I just hope that obama will do the right thing and slap anti trust against MS
    Quebec-french
    • A profitable business...

      ... employing a large number of people and obtaining substantial profits from "exports". (The word is in quotes because of the Supreme Court case about where a product is made when software is copied outside the US.)

      With an economy is in difficult circumstances, how many politicians are going to want to attack a company which is a leader in a major industry?

      Especially one which has already been through anti-trust successfully.

      I suggest the more likely questions are: How energetically should Microsoft be protected from foreign anti-trust? How directly should the government become involved in limiting piracy of Microsoft products?

      If the goal is improving the economy, Microsoft is one of the good guys, not the bad guys.
      Anton Philidor
      • Good guys, but only for the US though ....

        .... as for the rest of the world, you may not have noticed in your insular little minds, but the very culture of self-interested greed-at-all-costs is collapsing.

        Get used to it, the world does not revolve around the US.

        As things develop, so will yourselves. It's a levelling out where the richest show off is not automatically king.

        If you STILL see the future as recycling old money, then the US is going to get weaker and weaker.

        As for MS jobs being lost, well hey, people can create new and better jobs that benefit everybody. It's just a slight paradigm shift.
        fr0thy2
        • You really have little sense of the world around you.

          Sorry, but you really do have to have an understanding if you wish to speak on such subjects.

          But you are just one of those people who perceives the little corner of their existance, and rants against all who are more.

          But, if it makes [i]you[/i] happy, then please, do not stop on our account. ;)
          GuidingLight
          • An ironic criticism, considering that your own posting

            was referencing ONLY the US, while his mentioned the larger world in which we must operate. If talking about the world is your "little corner of existence" then what does that say about YOUR outlook? Are you therefore peering intently at a square inch of floor tile?

            Frothy can be pretty irrational, but that doesn't excuse in any way your own sanctimonious statements built on nothing. I'm always saddened when I see the depths to which intellectual discourse has sunk in this tragic has-been nation of ours.
            bmerc
          • Read this link GL. It might wake you up.

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7677444.stm
            fr0thy2
          • Is there anything that can awaken the dead?

            Or placate the greedy?

            Some people's light have guided them down the path of no return.

            Movies have been made of such. "The River Of No Return"
            Ole Man
          • Wish he'd mentioned that sooner...

            About 30 years sooner would have been nice but hey, better late than never right?
            bernalillo
          • Count me in.

            You can count me in in his corner.
            kozmcrae
        • Yes! - just like a fly to honey....LOL - nt

          nt
          TheBottomLineIsAllThatMatters
      • Weird train of thought.

        Many large profitable corporations have been broken up through anti"thrust" legislation. Microsoft ahs been through it but only survived due to a powerful politician pulling the plug on the suit. (W). Generally these breakups have been beneficial to industry and users alike (not to mention the ecomony). The ultimate desination of deregulation is a mugger standing over his victims and gloating that "It is their faul tfor not having been stronger and better prepaired.". Regualtions are there to do just that, regulate. When a government agency gets taken over by the industry it is intended to regulate then it is time for a shake up of that agency, not it's demise. No one should be "protected" from antitrust legislation here of abroad. A truly successful and beneficial company is one thet can be profitable while holding to societal demands not using payola to invoke governmental protection from those societal demands.
        bernalillo
    • You failed to see the big picture.

      If M$ should be penalized for playing open source then the other guys like IBM, GOOGLE, ORACLE and so on would all be penalized for doing the same thing. Just b/c those guys applied more lipstick doesn't change the fact they too are giving out poisoned Apples.
      LBiege
      • Ah, their illegal pre-installs you mean?

        ;-)
        fr0thy2
        • You mean like Safari kinda pre-install

          in Macs or iPhones?
          LBiege
        • Yeah, Europe really showed them with Media Player

          Buwahahahahahaha.....
          No_Ax_to_Grind
      • You got it right.

        Microsoft is "playing" Open Source. Everyone else is serious about being a part of its future.
        kozmcrae
    • guys dont feed the troll (nt)

      ::::::::::
      Loverock Davidson
      • Put your sandwich down, job done

        ;-)
        fr0thy2
      • Wow, irony-o-meter just pegged.

        nt
        bmerc
  • What is your complaint?

    Your phrasing makes it seem that Microsoft is doing something insidious and damaging.

    What are you criticizing about Microsoft finding a way to make money from open source? And selling other products as part of that strategy.

    When open source companies look through that pane of clear opr stained glass, what are they supposed to be seeing that should repel them?
    Anton Philidor