'Open Source Has Changed Microsoft' ... but Not Too Much

Lora Bentley

The majority of Ray Ozzie's discussion with Microsoft's Most Vaulable Professionals (MVPs) at the annual summit on Thursday centered around virtualization and the idea of the Web as a mesh that connects content and devices. (PCWorld.com writer Nancy Gohring suggests the mesh talk was a hint of Microsoft's Live Mesh service, which is expected to launch on Tuesday.)


However, Chief Software Architect Ozzie also noted that open source has "dramatically" changed Microsoft. According to PCWorld.com:

"Microsoft fundamentally, as a whole, has changed dramatically as a result of open source," Ozzie said. "As people have been using it more and more, the nature of interoperability between our systems and others has increased." That means that from the very start when Microsoft begins developing new products, it considers what components it will want to open up to outside developers, he said.

But that doesn't mean the company will really change the way it does business, the story says.


And why should it? Microsoft is apparently doing something right -- at least in the consumer space. Leading Linux distributor Red Hat announced on Thursday that it has no plans to build a Linux-based desktop for the consumer market. According to a press release


The desktop market suffers from having one dominant vendor, and some people still perceive that today's Linux desktops simply don't provide a practical alternative. Of course, a growing number of technically savvy users and companies have discovered that today's Linux desktop is indeed a practical alternative. Nevertheless, building a sustainable business around the Linux desktop is tough.

As IT Business Edge Editor in Chief Kachina Dunn noted, Red Hat managed to "tip its hat" to Microsoft without blaming the company directly for the failure of consumer desktop Linux projects.

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