Microsoft exec Jim Gray: ‘The thing I’m puzzled by is how there will be a software industry if there’s open-source.‘
So Jim, if I read you right, you’re saying that the commercial software industry is like a charity of sorts, and that customers should pay money for software even if equally good or superior open source solutions exist, because commercial software engineers are somehow entitled to the customer’s money?
While my experience with BeOS and Mac OS X make it clear that some commercial involvement results in higher quality products based on open foundations (due to cohesive vision, clear direction, etc.), it is also clear that many purely open source projects have resulted in products that are as good as or superior to their commercial counterparts.
Want to keep your customers? Then beat open source products on features (or service) — but don’t fool yourself that people will pay needlessly for software just to artificially prop up the industry.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is playing matchmaker – introducing deep-pocket funder BayStar to SCO, resulting in a $50 million windfall for the company that has made it a life mission to suck the wind out of open source’s sails. Microsoft downplays the connection. Riiiiiight.