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Microsoft exec calls Linux a threat to innovation?
February 15, 2001 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft exec calls Linux a threat to innovation? "One of Microsoft's high-level executives says that freely distributed software code such as Linux could stifle innovation and that legislators need to understand the threat."
posted by macewan (25 comments total)

 
''Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer,'' Allchin said. ''I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business.''

Now, I'm no expert. But he may be right there. Where he's wrong is the underlying assumption that it would be a bad thing.
posted by dnash at 1:14 PM on February 15, 2001


Given that the open-source movement has sucked a lot of talented people into expending their effort duplicating things that already exist, rather than creating actual new things, there's a point to be found there. But Microsoft shouldn't be the one to talk.
posted by kindall at 1:18 PM on February 15, 2001


I find Allchin's argument weak. I would contend that open source can provide a greater number of different opportunities for people to make a livelihood and own their IP. Code can be open source, yet still be owned by its creator. Code can be community source, open to people who subscribe to it, and still be owned by its creator. People can build things using open source platforms, like PHP, and still own the code and their time. It is a much more flexible environment than what Microsoft is creating.
posted by tranquileye at 1:28 PM on February 15, 2001


Sorry, C|Net, but Segfault beat you to the story by three days.

Of course, their version was satire.
posted by tingley at 1:33 PM on February 15, 2001


Try this link to avoid that giant Flash ad in the middle of the page.
posted by donkeymon at 2:20 PM on February 15, 2001


Is this a new Microsoft tactic, bitch about everything and try to generate sympathy?
posted by Zool at 2:32 PM on February 15, 2001


Incidentally, Jim Allchin was the executive who testified at the antitrust trial that "Feltenizing" Windows made it less stable. Twice he presented a prepared demonstration of this happening, and both times David Boies was able to demonstrate that the video had been doctored.

And now he's talking to the press again. The rich are different from you and me: they have absolutely no shame.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 2:51 PM on February 15, 2001


Is this a new Microsoft tactic, bitch about everything and try to generate sympathy?

No, it's an old IBM tactic, Microsoft's just been refining it for a couple of decades.

When I visited, the big flash ad was for Sun. I couldn't help but chuckle.



posted by cCranium at 3:03 PM on February 15, 2001


microsoft has stalled the computing industry dead in its tracks for 15 years. microsoft has been the worst thing that could possibly happen to innovation and r&d. a brand new machine in 2001 is, architecturally speaking, little different from a brand new machine in 1985. for software, we have DOS rendered graphically. entrenched empire protectors like allchin are the single most serious threat to innovation in ANY industry, and legislators need to understand that threat.
posted by quonsar at 3:10 PM on February 15, 2001


Given that their definition of innovate appears to be "run roughshod over the rest of the industry", Linux is definitely a threat to innovation.
posted by harmful at 4:17 PM on February 15, 2001


What really upsets me is the fact Windows XP is still only a 32 bit operating system. I believe Microsoft will make certain server editions 64 bit.
posted by Zool at 4:24 PM on February 15, 2001


''I'm an American, I believe in the American Way,'' he [Allchin] said. ''I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.''
Does anyone else get worried when he invokes the "American Way" and talks about educating policymakers about threats? For some reason, I flash on Joe McCarthy. Open source is Communism and Allchin is red-baiting.
posted by elgoose at 4:41 PM on February 15, 2001


''I'm an American, I believe in the American Way.''

America today is predicated on greed instead of generosity, consumption instead of creation, and competition instead of collaboration. I can't think of anything less American than Linux.
posted by donkeymon at 5:07 PM on February 15, 2001


'Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer,'' Allchin said. ''I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business.''
Now, I'm no expert. But he may be right there. Where he's wrong is the underlying assumption that it would be a bad thing.
(keeping in mind that I can't reach Cnet, or Slashdot, but i'll comment anyway, ho-ho!)

Intellectual property isn't necessarily keeping pit from others. It's about doing what you want with your property (giving it away under certain conditions, or keeping it, or eating it).

I would prefer government funded software be open source as that way the public can make further use of it. I would think it a waste of money for a government to pay several times for similar software because they cannot change it and cannot fix it. There's no nature of reuseable components for most of these contractors - it usually does the job but it's very brittle. So far as evidence, in an old slashdot story on the possibility of government open source software several American government contractors said that the client was never given the source code.

Then again NSA already done an open-source version of Linux.
microsoft has stalled the computing industry dead in its tracks for 15 years. microsoft has been the worst thing that could possibly happen to innovation and r&d.
Some offensive quote, "You've got to understand - it's like one day you woke up and everyone else was suddenly a retard. You talked to retards; you interacted with retards; you bought their mush and it made you dumber and dumber. Microsoft are the worst thing to happen to computers since IBM. "
posted by holloway at 5:26 PM on February 15, 2001


Yawn. Gimme an "F"...
posted by holgate at 7:03 PM on February 15, 2001


The thing is that he could have made a valid point if he'd tried. If he hadn't made discrediting open source his goal and focused on Linux he could have pointed out that expecting a 30 year old operating system to bring about innovation is foolish. The thing about open source is that it enables people to do wild new experiments because they don't have to worry about being funded.
posted by davidgentle at 7:05 PM on February 15, 2001


time COULD go backwards
 
isn't protecting your hardware (Apple) and protecting your code (Microsoft) a defensive mechanism that is preservational, not innovative?
 
i find that meaningful critical feedback from peers is one of the most productive expenditures of time--and this is in line with the underlying philosophy of Open Source.
 
free? who said Linux was free? you either SPEND time learning it, or you SPEND money on someone that does. that expenditure is probably similar in the end for both MS or Linux, but with Linux you've got/had historically better performance from the end result. you trade performance for convenience as I understand it.
posted by greyscale at 7:23 PM on February 15, 2001


What really upsets me is the fact Windows XP is still only a 32 bit operating system. I believe Microsoft will make certain server editions 64 bit.

Yes (and you're right about the servers) but what good would a 64-bit OS do on 32-bit processors? Until Itanium gets wayyyy cheaper (or even obtainable), releasing a 64-bit Windows would just be confusing.

Although I suppose including 64-bit support wouldn't be a bad thing. It's probably not ready. MS didn't learn anything when they moved from 16 to 32... they should have made the OS bitwidth-agnostic. Whatever.
posted by daveadams at 8:39 PM on February 15, 2001


What a brilliant and enlightened thread !!
posted by ojsbuddy at 9:05 PM on February 15, 2001




Just another front in the War on Linux, I suppose.
posted by harmful at 6:27 AM on February 16, 2001


Intellectual property isn't necessarily keeping pit from others. It's about doing what you want with your property (giving it away under certain conditions, or keeping it, or eating it).

Actually, holloway touches on a very important point here.

Open Source Software (and especially implementations of it like the GPL and Copyleft) isn't about "doing away" with intellectual property at all, it's about encouraging sharing intellectual property. It's about everyone knowing the best way to do something, so everything that they do is done the best way.

Yeah, I know, "best way" is tremendously subjective and generic, but seeing how an experienced coder implemented a solution is the best way to learn how to code.

Replace "coder" and "code" with pretty much any verb and noun [well, it helps if they're related :-] and the same holds true. Apprenticeship's long been one of the best way to learn things, this is just the same on a wider scale.
posted by cCranium at 8:01 AM on February 16, 2001


Just to throw some humor into the discussion, this "User Friendly" cartoon is pretty damned kewl. :)
posted by metrocake at 8:05 AM on February 16, 2001


He says that "legislators need to understand the threat"...

Hmm.

When open-source is outlawed, only outlaws will use open-source.
posted by beth at 9:41 AM on February 16, 2001


Salon.com's top story today is about this very same issue --
see the cover story and this second piece by Andrew Leonard.
posted by Tin Man at 10:30 AM on February 16, 2001


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