Thursday, January 27, 2005

Science-fiction (double feature)

On this Wired article, some Gary Wolf (who must have a high opinion of his own intelligence) writes a science-fiction story: in the near future, Microsoft has hired Linus Torvalds and he writes an internal memo to Bill Gates, complaining about Steve Ballmer's attitude; who just doesn't dig how Microsoft is able to give away its new operative system, the WinX, and still make money. He also doesn't like having a Linux as the core of Microsoft's new OS.

The main idea of the article is not bad: Microsoft gives away the OS and charges for the tools. As this science-fiction OS has a Linux core, it sells (excuse me, it's given away) a lot; because it's a widely known fact that a Linux core is the solution to all the grief in the world, including hunger, plague and bad body odor.

But I digress: the funniest thing about the article it's this, and I quote: "With an open, universal operating system, users still crave the familiar look and feel that Microsoft sells them. We've got a suite of applications that work closely together. We've got an application development framework that encourages everybody in the industry to write apps that integrate into our desktop suite - and that increases the market for WinX."

Wake up and smell the roses, Mr. Wolf: Microsft already has a suite of applications working closely together, it already has an application development framework which is light-years ahead of any other open source competitor. And alas, they've done it all by themselves, without hiring Linus Torvalds. Funny, ain't it?

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