The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tech, the student newspaper, reported July 8 that "Microsoft Exchange Is MIT's New Email System." Obviously the techie writing that headline has a future with me in online journalism if he or she is not going to do something useful instead, such as cure cancer or get us to Mars. Microsoft (MSFT) ousting Google (GOOG) at MIT are fighting words at the nominal birthplace of open source software, and they're sure to increase click-throughs all over the open source blogosphere.
In reality, as at many companies, the MIT IT department has installed Exchange along with, not in place of, the Gmail software as a service (SaaS) and other options including the open sourced on-premise Cyrus IMAP server out of Carnegie Mellon. According to the Tech, Christine C. Fitzgerald, a spokesperson for MIT's IT group, said,
"This is an optional infrastructure solution for those departments who will benefit from an integrated e-mail and calendaring solution."
That's logical and that's the way real people - as opposed to the open source blogosphere - think: Functionality rules!
But that's not the stretch. I have long had an un-researched theory that Microsoft made out gang busters in its settlements with the multiple U.S. states that continued the Department of Justice's (DoJ's) 1998 anti-trust case against Microsoft even after the DoJ settled. That's because Microsoft's punishment for allegedly breaking anti-trust law in selling Microsoft software was to give the states a bunch of coupons for guess what Microsoft software. Which means basically to education. Which means basically to a bunch of people who were kids back in the early part of this decade.
Fast forward to today and the MIT Outlook vs. Gmail/Exchange vs. Google SaaS/closed vs. open source situation. Those kids back in the early part of this decade are now college students. The Tech story quotes one student as saying there is a "general anti-Microsoft attitude on campus." Gee, do you think? How could it be otherwise with all the open source propaganda that has been foisted on their young impressionable minds?
But here's where the Microsoft coupons come in. One kid says "I use Exchange because all my stuff - calendar, tasks, contacts - are seamlessly synchronized between my desktop client, my phone, and a web client." So apparently this student, aged somewhere between 18-21 unless he or she is a Doogie Howser, came to MIT using Outlook. Perhaps because of a coupon Microsoft was "forced to" give his or her state of residence to settle the anti-trust suit the state filed against it.
Wouldn't that be ironic?
Hey I said it was a stretch.