Here is my second day take on the Google-Sun "news."
As with Oakland, there's no there there. Parse the news release carefully and there's no Open Office, no direct competition to Microsoft at all. There's just Dr. Schmidt and his old boss, Scott McNealy, smiling with their hands in one anothers' corporate pockets.
Maybe something meaningful will come from this, but the press was brought into the story because they were told something meaningful had happened. And it hadn't.
This is not the first time I've been disappointed with Google under the leadership of Dr. Schmidt:
The picture, originally from The Wall Street Journal, is from Dr. Schmidt's personal home page.
My point is that the idea of "do no evil" isn't just a good idea. It speaks of the value which must be at the heart of any open source business model -- credibility.
In a friction-less world everyone can be replaced. Microsoft can be replaced. Yahoo can be replaced. And yes, even Google can be replaced.
In the open source world people get wise very, very fast, and very, very suddenly. Ask Tim Koogle. I think what Google needs more than anything right now is top leadership which understands the absolute necessity for credibility and transparency.
If I lie, or ZDNet lies, you go elsewhere and you should. When a big corporation lies, it's often dismissed as corporate spin, the hit is not as great.
In an open source world, however, we're all news services. I'm a news service, ZDNet is a news service, and Dr. Schmidt runs a news service. Credibility is the coin of the realm. Transparency is the route to maintaining credibility.
We're all journalists now, Dr. Schmidt.