Microsoft and Open Source: Continuing Coopetition

Lora Bentley

Funny, isn't it, how Microsoft manages to come up with a customer testimonial about how cost-effective Office is just when open source vendors are talking up the savings their customers achieve with open source? It's not surprising -- especially in a down economy where everyone is tightening belts and trimming excess.


But what's really interesting about the Microsoft piece is the fact that it's a year old, according to ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley. She says:

The Speedy Hire case study is not new. It dates back to December 2007. So why is Microsoft touting it today? Perhaps due to the recession and desire by companies to find ways to cut costs by using more free software? Or maybe to counteract the press around a former Microsoft developer's new book celebrating the joys of open-source software?

Who knows why they do what they do in Redmond. But like Foley also says, Microsoft does have a right to compete against open source. What I can't figure out is why it would want to in this particular instance when it has also invested in open source in a number of different ways in the past couple of years. Isn't that message confusing to customers?


Then again, maybe it's more of what at least one exec likes to call "coopetition."

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