Archive for March 25, 2008

It’s official: Microsoft’s concerned about GNU/Linux

March 25, 2008 32 comments

Without fanfare (as expected), Microsoft filed its 10-K form to the Security and Exchange Commission.

In it, however, we find that Microsoft bemoans the fact that their “business model,” well, might tend to suck in comparison to the open source business model. Not only that — and maybe you should sit down for this — all that, ahem, innovation stemming from Redmond might suffer because they would have to lower their prices to keep competitive.

Let’s take a look, shall we? Some of the more tasty, entertaining morsels are:

“Our business model has been based upon customers paying a fee to license software that we developed and distributed . . . . In recent years, certain “open source” software business models have evolved into a growing challenge to our license-based software model.

[And for this we are truly thankful.]

“Open source commonly refers to software whose source code is subject to a license allowing it to be modified, combined with other software and redistributed, subject to restrictions set forth in the license . . . . A prominent example of open source software is the Linux operating system.”

[Wait for it . . ]

Although we believe our products provide customers with significant advantages in security, productivity and total cost of ownership (emphasis added to highlight both the audacity and humor of this clause), the popularization of the open source software model continues to pose a significant challenge to our business model . . .

[When you stop laughing, I’ll continue.]

” . . .including continuing efforts by proponents of open source software to convince governments worldwide to mandate the use of open source software in their purchase and deployment of software products.

[For this we are truly thankful.]

“To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, sales of our products may decline, we may have to reduce the prices we charge for our products, and revenue and operating margins may consequently decline.”

[One can only hope.]

[FSF Associate Member](Larry Cafiero, editor/publisher of Open Source and Free Software Reporter, is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Categories: GNU/Linux, Microsoft