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   re: [xml-dev] Microsoft-phobia and the non-future of XHTML x.x [LONG]

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AndrewWatt2000@aol.com writes:

 > "At the risk of over-generalising the fundamental business model of
 > open source software is Microsoft-paranoia and Microsoft-phobia by
 > competitor companies. Of course there are enthusiasts who donate
 > time but isn't at least part of the motivation for some of those
 > developers the same Microsoft-phobia and Microsoft-paranoia? Try to
 > imagine how limited open source software today might be without the
 > kick start donations and ongoing funding from the corporate
 > interests intent on spoiling Microsoft. If hatred and fear of
 > Microsoft were not so widespread there might be virtually no open
 > source software!"

While the term "Open Source" is recent, the community around it has
been in existence for a long time -- it spun off when AT&T closed off
the Unix sources.  If hatred and fear were a driving force, then it
was hatred and fear of AT&T, IBM, and Sun that drove most
free-software projects.

Back before the early 1990s, I don't remember much anti-Microsoft
hostility at all -- hard-core techies thought DOS was pretty pathetic,
but no one considered Microsoft a threat, and a lot of people actually
admired them for being a little company (originally) that got the
better of Big Blue.  We initially adopted Linux as a free alternative
to Minix, which was a cheap alternative to Xenix for desktop
computers.  Few people at the beginning of the 1990s were seriously
suggesting that Linux should compete with Windows, OS2, or MacOS --
those were GUI junk for people who didn't know how to use a shell.

While there are now a few higher-profile OSS projects going
head-to-head with Microsoft -- Gnome, KDE, Mozilla, OpenOffice,
Abiword, and Gnumeric come immediately to mind -- the vast majority of
projects are still traditional, Unix-flavoured non-GUI utilities
(command-line or server-side).  Sometimes, as in the case of HTTP
servers, Microsoft is the Johnny-come-lately playing catch-up, not the
OSS community.

All the best,


David Megginson, david@megginson.com, http://www.megginson.com/


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