Anyone involved in trying to make money from open source, like our own Matt Asay
, is having a tough time right now. (What's singer Norah Jones
doing here? Patience.)
It's the problem faced by the Depression-era busker. Your song is great, the crowd is digging it, but at the end of the day your hat is empty, assuming someone hasn't stolen it.
In light of hunger long-held principles are re-examined. Freedom to tinker should not be freedom to starve.
And so we come to Microsoft. They're still making money. They want to partner with you. All it will cost is a little piece of your soul.
In fact Microsoft is hurting just like the rest of us. Its clothes look sharp so you don't notice that those keen elbow patches cover real tears in the fabric.
That's why its strategy seems so schizophrenic.
What Microsoft sees is what we all see, that deer-in-the-headlights look in the marketplace. Until the capital markets become unfrozen no one can prosper. Not even Microsoft.
Microsoft is as scared of what is happening in the real economy as any open source entrepreneur. That might bring a little joy to your heart if we weren't all gonna be sinkin' soon.