Open Source in 2013

The War against Microsoft has been won.

John McCain in Columbus Ohio



Thank you. (Picture from Fox, America's only network. My picture at the top of this blog is expected to look much like this one in 2013, if I shave and get the combover right.)

The hectic but repetitive routine of business and journalism often seems to consist entirely of back and forth charges between companies, punctuated by demos, trade shows and the occasional press release, followed by another barrage of wanking and counter-wanking, turned into sound bites preferred by blog readers.

Users, however, can be forgiven their uncertainty about what companies hope to achieve if the market simply moves their way. We spend too little time and offer too few specifics on that. We make promises, of course, that our software will work. But they often are obscured, mis-characterized and forgotten in the heat and fog of an update cycle

By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the calling center jobs which were done so terribly in Delhi and Bangalore.

The War against Microsoft has been won.

Windows is now a functioning community, although still suffering from the lingering effects from decades of FUD and marketing tension. Reboots still occur, but they are spasmodic and much reduced. Civil suits have been prevented; patents dispensed with, the Linux QA team has proven itself professional and competent.

Mac ad for SunÂ’s Virtualizer
The threat from a resurgent Apple in the mobile space has been greatly reduced but not eliminated. LiMo and Android devices remain to help finish the job, and continue selling against the remnants of the iPhone. The government is successfully adapting the tactics that worked so well against Microsoft to the Cupertino redoubts where Apple marketers are based. This has led to the retirement of Steve Jobs and his chief lieutenants. There is no longer any place in the world where those stupid “I'm a Mac and I'm a PC” commercials run. There still has not been a major patent lawsuit against open source since SCO vs. IBM.

The open source community has made great progress in advancing security. Concerted action by the great programmers of the world has persuaded reluctant virus writers and botnet creators to cooperate in pressuring Nigeria to abandon its 419 scam ambitions. The single greatest threat facing open source -- the prospect of viruses and e-mail lists in the hands of criminals -- has been vastly diminished.

The number of programming jobs has been significantly increased. They are now better equipped and trained. Long overdue reforms to the way we manage networks, including the adoption of BitTorrent as the central protocol, have created sufficient bandwidth to pay for an expanded YouTube. A substantial increase in salaries and improvements in their health care has aided recruitment and retention of programmers. The strain on QA staffs has been relieved.

The Internet has experienced several years of robust economic growth, and content owners again have confidence in their economic future. A reduction in prices for songs and video, and the elimination of digital rights management, enabled consumers to buy much more, and while the major studios have been eliminated, the Internet has spurred innovation and creativity, and encouraged singers and movie makers to keep their operations and jobs in the United States.

The Disney Copyright Act of 1998 has been phased out, , with relief provided first to children who love Goofy. Doubling the size of DisneyWorld has put more disposable income into the hands of costumed characters, further stimulating growth.

Americans now have a choice of continuing to click on EULAs or use a new, simpler, fairer and shorter GPL license, with two versions and a generous amnesty. Millions of users are expected to use the new GPL and save billions in the cost of license compliance.

New copyright agreements have been ratified and led to substantial increases in both exports and imports. The resulting growth in prosperity in countries from South America to Asia to Africa has greatly strengthened the open source market and the global progress of its ideals. Rules on the free movement of intellectual property have been eliminated and unneeded Hollywood subsidies are being phased out. The world entertainment shortage has ended, everyone who wants one has a pony, and the quality of life not only in our country, but in some of the most impoverished countries around the world is much improved.

Americans, who through no fault of their own, lost jobs due to the closing of Microsoft they once believed were theirs for life, are assisted by the Linux Foundation's worker retraining programs. Older programmers who accept lower paying jobs in calling centers while they acquire new skills are provided assistance to make up a good part of the income they have lost. Community colleges and technical schools all over the country have developed Java training programs and are helping millions of workers who lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.

Public education in the United States is much improved thanks to the WiFi revolution and free Internet broadband, the increase of quality teachers through retraining of former Microsoft salesmen and terrific software programs that make everything automatic. Educational software and online teaching programs are free to all, bringing to the smallest classrooms in America the greatest math, English, and science teachers in the country. Test scores and graduation rates are rising everywhere.

Charlie Crist is actually the Governor of Florida. But what hair!
On a personal note, my hair suddenly grew back last night. It's not a rug, not a weave, it's real hair – pull it. I lost 20 pounds, shaved my beard, and now look like the guy to the left. I hadn't changed my photo before because I didn't want to shock my loyal readers.

Thanks to low-power laptops the United States is well on the way to independence from foreign sources of oil; progress has begun to alleviate the environmental threat posed from climate change, and have you seen my hair? Construction has begun on twenty new nuclear reactors so we may all glow in the dark and won't need to light our cities.

Lucha Pony, from My Little Pony
With open source for all, and proprietary licenses for none, the era of the permanent marketing campaign will end. The era of getting value from software will begin. I can work with any program, from any maker, and know it will be compatible. And we don't have to care who gets the credit.

Thank you. I will now ride Lucha into the sunset.