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Fighting back: The fall of Microsoft

A reader says: Use corporate greed against corporate greed. I despise companies using legislation to kill competition.


Fighting back: The fall of Microsoft

In response to the April 15 Perspectives column by Bruce Perens, "The Microsoft penalty that isn't":

In the article, Perens says that the best way to counteract the anti-GPL/LGPL licensing is to roll out more Linux clients, servers and so on. I agree. However, that process is sometimes complicated.

During the process of migration, connectivity to legacy Microsoft software is often a must, making projects like SAMBA essential. For instance, at my office we just converted a bunch of IIS servers running proprietary applications our company made to Linux/Apache boxes. However, the code required a connection to a Windows file server (which we stored shared content on). While the Network File System (NFS) will give us better performance, we can't switch to it until we convert all of our applications. As an intermediate step we used SAMBA. The most pernicious aspect of the license is of course the potential to outlaw open-source projects like SAMBA. We need those apps to keep working.

So here's my idea: Use corporate greed against corporate greed. I despise companies using legislation to kill competition. But Microsoft does it all the time. They have no qualms about using pernicious means to get their way. So I say let's fight back.

If Microsoft wants to use legislation, let's encourage mega-companies to file more private lawsuits against Microsoft to protect Linux/open-source projects. Companies like AOL Time Warner and IBM have a vested business interest in both open source and the death of Microsoft. They might be willing to listen to letter-writing campaigns and advertising campaigns that encourage them to take action to protect their pocketbooks.

Microsoft may have a huge financial war chest, but fighting constant battles on all sides of your empire will drain your resources. Look what happened to the Romans.

Dan Jeffries
Astoria, N.Y.



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