The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds |

Business / Technology

Our network sites | Advanced

Brier Dudley's Blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

E-mail Brier| 206.515.5687 | Follow Brier on Twitter| Microsoft Pri0 blog| RSS feeds Subscribe | Blog Home

February 21, 2008 9:48 AM

Microsoft sharing: Lemonade from lemons?

Posted by Brier Dudley

Microsoft executives seemed to channel their current Office ad campaign -- "It's a new day, it's a new Office" -- this morning when they announced a bunch of steps they're taking to appease antitrust regulators, open-source developers and customers tired of friction and uncertainty around patents, sharing and litigation.

But so far it's hard to tell what's really new and what's a continuation of the lumbering steps the company has taken over the past five years to share more of the technical information that gave it a competitive advantage as it pushed into corporate datacenters.

The irony is that Microsoft would probably have started sharing more even if it wasn't forced to by regulators. As the executives said today, the company has to be more open and accepting of competitors and open-source products if it's going to succeed in a world where companies are running all sorts of products and want to be sure they work together.

So did they announce a sea change or call attention to one that was already under way?

Microsoft might have been speaking to more than just antitrust regulators and customers today. A friendlier approach to open-source software could make the company more appealing to potential employees, such as Yahoo engineers more sympathetic to Linux than Windows.

I asked Steve Ballmer if the new approaches described today will make it easier for Microsoft to integrate and retain engineers from Yahoo. He said there "might be a lot of ancillary benefits" but that isn't the primary focus.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what's new in the announcements and what effects they'll have on the industry.

Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

No comments have been posted to this article.







Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Browse the archives

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008



Demo of the Week:

Share your thoughts!

Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.