It has now been almost three years since I stepped away from working daily on open source opportunities for Microsoft.
Hmmm, working on open source at Microsoft... 3 years ago?! Boy, Jason it must have been hard being paid during all that time.
Or maybe were you part of the Microsoft Novell deal? In which case you should seriously consider replacing your on open source by a more appropriate against open source.
I've watched the team that took on Shared Source morph it into some extremely positive collaborative work that is exactly what OSS is all about.
And by OSS you do mean Office of Strategic Services, I presume?
The paltry few projects that were in place in 2006 have blossomed into thousands of
By paltry, do you mean trashy or despicable?
projects, and some of the core source release programs for flagship technologies are still operational today. All good.
Well indeed, it warrants attention. Without open source it would have been difficult to maintain anything Microsoft operational for so long. I'm bewildered. In awe. Really.
Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm seeing the same understanding about collaborative development when I go out and meet with customers, governments, partners...whomever.
Don't be shy, you could have added open source communities to the list. I'm sure they don't have the same understanding than Microsoft about collaborative development either.
I haven't been blogging much due to a great deal of travel, and the huge backlog of other work catching up to me following the close of the Open XML process.
Close? OOXML is a closed project? But Jason, even Office 2007 doesn't pass the OOXML compliance test...
One of my most interesting trips was down to South Africa to talk interop, document formats, and yes...open source software.
Amazing. Such a long trip for such a ... short talk?
South Africa has taken a most unfortunate position of late - the government has sought to put a political mandate in place for the adoption of open source software.
Yeah well, I don't know why a government would recommend a given line of products for its administration. If it continues that way, even enterprises will start having internal policies. Silly business world.
But wait, they don't recommend open source directly. The text says: "The primary criteria for selecting software solutions will remain the improvement of efficiency, effectiveness and economy of service delivery by (the) government to its citizens,"
OK, I understand your point now. With such kind of goals, the dice are loaded. No way Microsoft is going to have a chance.
Worse, it [Mandating open source] is pushing CIOs into decisions that they don't want to make - essentially taking working environments representing huge investments and moving to untested, more expensive solutions.
Untested solutions? Yup, when you think they could have chosen Vista instead ... What a band of losers ...
But, the most serious issue to me is that they are not looking at the real benefits that OSS can bring them. Politically, every conversation about the OSS mandate is really a Windows vs. Linux discussion.
Windows vs. Linux? Ahem but Jason, Open Office does run on Windows! Try it here.
This is in no small part assisted by the local presence of Ubuntu. There is absolutely no comprehension that the Linux they will deploy on an enterprise scale will be completely locked down by commercial services agreements and version controls by the apps vendors (e.g. SAP).
And of course, if they were to use Windows they would not be locked down at all. BTW Microsoft should really sell their method for brain washing. Exceptional.
This is absolutely fine from a decision point of view for enterprise systems, but it is most certainly not any gain due to open source.
The real value of OSS to a government that is looking to:
- save money
- bring development skills in-country
Yeah, I know, Ubuntu is sooooo much slower than Vista. Poor Africans, they don't have any sense of technology.
is to apply OSS development and licensing methodologies at the app-dev and tools layers, rather than thinking of the core OS as an OSS opportunity for them.
Deep dev of the core OS is not likely to happen in South Africa today on any large scale.
You're right those small countries, they don't have the skills! What could come out of a small country like say, Finland? A penguin?
Students at the university still grappling with coding skills are not going to dive into the inner-working of Linux.
You're so right. I have always been amazed by the number of students diving into Windows source code to learn more about operating systems. That must be the reason why they recommend Windows when they are joining a company afterwards. Good move!
The developing world still views OSS as "free as in no money," and that is widely known to not be the case.
I think that's the 3rd instance of Africans are --if not stupid- at least sub par: Everybody knows but them.
I heard this same point of view for 5 years all over Asia, parts of Europe, and Latin America.
Ok, that's not a racial problem then. It's just that when you're poorer you're a bit dense. I hate poor people too.
I saw governments try to incubate OSS businesses solely because "OSS" was in the title and mandate.
Yeah I know it always comes as a surprise when a government follows a mandate. Don't they know better? Couldn't they implement proper lobbying?! Stupid paupers.
Then, those businesses failed, and the mandated solutions turned out to be far more expensive than other commercial alternatives.
I agree, we keep hearing about those reversals of fortune all the time. So many organizations are leaving Vista for XP.
Ahhh...it feels good to blog again. :-)
Same here. :-)
Update: More insights about Microsoft visit in South Africa from Boycott Novell