Microsoft's strained monogamy

It's hard to be faithful when you're as big as Microsoft is.

I couldn't help but think of Microsoft and its track record of "partnerships" when I read this quote from Carla Bruni, France President Nicolas Sarkozy's fiancee.

"I am faithful -- to myself! I am bored to death by monogamy."

I don't know about you, but I'd be feeling pretty secure in that impending marriage. :-)

And so it is with Microsoft (and increasingly Oracle). As these behemoths take on more and more of the enterprise software market, there's no easy way for them to truly partner with companies. There will always be an angle - a rather sharp one - not far from the memorandum of understanding.

Are they bad companies? Perhaps. At times. But really they're just acting out the necessary consequences of their heft. This is why it's so hard to trust them and engage them if you're anything less than a fellow multi-billion dollar behemoth.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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