Microsoft Embracing Openness?

Microsoft30 Microsoft Embracing Openness?
Justin Sheehan asked:

Could it be that the evil empire has surrendered? If you haven’t heard Microsoft announced on Tuesday that they will change to a higher level of openness and interoperability with many of its high volume products including an agreement not to sue open-source developers for products that connect to Microsoft software. My question is this: Who locked Bill Gates in a closet?

After all, this is by the company that brought you software bundling and the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance. They are like the spoiled kid down the street who won’t share his toys unless you pay him. The real question is why all of a sudden a change of heart?

Many will point to the fact that Bill Gates is retiring and there is a coup occurring within Microsoft’s corporate culture. If you think about it Microsoft is the most developer oriented company there is. Everyone who is anyone at Microsoft started out as a developer and many of them must have misgivings about the company’s history with regard to open-source software. Others will say, such as Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith that this change in policy is a direct response to the European Union lawsuit that was decided in September which found Microsoft guilty of anticompetitive practices. All of these reasons may have had an effect on this decision but make no mistake this is about Google kicking their behinds in web software and online advertising.

I think Microsoft finally realizes that they have past the point of no return. They are no longer king of the block and if they don’t change the way they are perceived and utilized on the web they are going to be the ones monopolized. Google is everything that Microsoft is not. It is accessible and developer friendly. It’s kind of like Hillary Clinton arguing that she is a better administrator than the visionary Barack Obama. It may be factually correct but who are you going to follow? The company that revolves around developers needs to embrace the developer community. This appears to be a small step in that direction but I need to see more before I’m buying it.

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