Via Groklaw, I saw Iturbide‘s recollection of Microsoft’s Open Source Strategy. In particular, his recollection on the slide which Microsoft had drawn where Microsoft sits in the open source world was hilarious, if you are like me used to see the standard community open source diagram, or even corporate open source diagram.
With Community Open Source, you only see open source software. With corporates’, even with well established company, you see open source as the bottom most building blocks. As Iturbide pointed out, it is upside down, since we have Microsoft products as building blocks.
After laughing my heart out, I start to see Microsoft point. They want Open Source to be built on their ecosystem. Well, in a sense, everyone do. We should take it as coincidence that Microsoft is charging for Windows, Exchange and Visual Studio. Swap Microsoft out for RedHat and we will see RedHat products at the bottom. It is hard to argue that that is not what RedHat wants. Of course, we can migrate away from RedHat relatively easily.
Bearing that in mind, my further analysis shows that there is only one thing that I cannot accept in the diagram as an open source advocate, i.e., building on top of exchange, share point and System center. The rest are just fine by me. Why? I can migrate away easily from SQL Server, Windows and Visual Studio (Assuming you are writing Visual Studio plugin with proper layering and you would if you are writing for Visual Studio, I can easily write the VS dependent part out). Since I can, I can pull the three out right under Microsoft’s nose in the future.
Don’t agree with me? Guess on which platform converts to open source first encounters Open Source Software? Windows!