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Did the bad cop gremlins get at Microsoft's annual report?

Microsoft is not doomed. Microsoft faces real competition from open source. Competition is a good thing. But it is also, in terms of any annual report, a "risk factor."
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

No. The anti open-source gremlins did not write Microsoft's latest annual report.

(Today's inconvenient truth. I saw George H.W. Bush in a Levi's Gremlin just like this one, in 1974, outside the Republican National Committee.)

While there are now breathless headlines reading "Microsoft warns of open source threat," we're really talking about something far less sinister, the section of its 10-K report headlined "risk factors."

Anyone who questions that open source is a risk to Microsoft's future profitability is not paying attention, and the company would have been grossly remiss in not pointing this out to investors and potential investors.

Admittedly, some of the wording is a bit snarky:

These firms do not bear the full costs of research and development for the software. Some of these firms may build upon Microsoft ideas that we provide to them free or at low royalties in connection with our interoperability initiatives.

But how else are you going to put it?

The same section addresses the risk from ad-based software as a service (SaaS), admitting that the model is viable and Microsoft is trailing.

Most of the section is very fairly worded, and might lead a casual reader to assume Microsoft is doomed. But that's just good drafting.

Microsoft is not doomed. Microsoft faces real competition from open source. Competition is a good thing. But it is also, in terms of any annual report, a "risk factor."

(Like the risk some future tech reporter spies you in a 1974 Gremlin.)

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