Into the lion's den


Last week I attended the OSBC 2008. Again, this year the conference was worth travelling all the way from Copenhagen to San Francisco to be part of. Excellent speakers and a very well balanced programme.

In one of the more entertaining sesions, Microsoft top-lawyer Brad Smith took the podium and addressed a crowd of about 400 people that – to put it mildly – were not all that Microsoft friendly. Brad Smith did a good job and his appearance at OSBC shows clearly that Microsoft has realized that open source is here to stay.

Despite all the positive rethorics from Brad Smith and other good people, it still seems to me that Microsoft is not at all into open source yet let alone openness. In my opinion, Microsoft still does what every monopolist would do as a rational self interested economic actor. It will try fervently to maintain its monopoly rents as long as possible. No sweet talking from Microsoft should let anyone to believe it to be otherwise.

This applies in particular to governments. Do not believe the monopolist’s talk about changing its ways to become more open. First, believe this talk when you should solid proof by actions!

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