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Microsoft: Still lots to learn

A reader responds to Microsoft exec Craig Mundie, writing that it's not about giving away free software--it's about quality of software.


Microsoft: Still lots to learn

In response to the May 17 Soapbox column by Craig Mundie, "Commercial software, sustainable innovation":

It seems Mundie has a lot to learn about the open-source movement. It's not a question about giving away free software--it's about quality of software.

I work with LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) on a daily basis. I can develop by myself Web applications that can be easily updated and rewritten at no cost. If I tried to implement those same features and use all Microsoft products, it would cost $5 to $10,000 dollars--and I could run those applications only on a Windows machine.

I taught myself how to program with LAMP and got help within hours of posting an e-mail from someone I had never met before.

The people in the community are great at helping each other out. You can't compare the speed and stability of Microsoft's products with open-source applications. With open source, there are more programmers out there who will respond faster to what the software needs and can offer a solution or patch in the same time since they have the source code.

Money is far from the minds of people who use open-source software. They want speed, quality and ease of use, as well as the ability to scale it any way they want. Microsoft should learn to give people what they want and maybe then they would have a better following.

Joel Phillip
Fullerton , Calif.