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Ray Ozzie On Microsoft’s Expensive Rift With the Web…

Posted by Bob Warfield on April 18, 2008

No, of course Ray Ozzie isn’t admitting or even suggesting Microsoft has an “expensive rift with the web.”  That’s what I called it in my original post about their us-vs-them situation.  Despite the fact that Microsoft Loyalists take me to task for bringing this stuff up, I’m not the only one who notices it.  Coté over at RedMonk has described it very clearly too.  As he puts it:

Microsoft frameworks are plagued by lock-in fears. That is, you’re either a 100% Microsoft coder or a 0% Microsoft coder.

Now what Ozzie did do is remove all doubt (what’s that saying about opening your mouth and removing all doubt?) by saying this about Open Source:

My position toward open source generally is that it’s a part of the environment. It’s very useful for developers to be able to get the source code to certain things, to modify them. Microsoft fundamentally, as a whole, has changed dramatically as a result of open-source as people have been using it more and more. The nature of interoperability between our systems and other systems has increased. I can tell you from an inside perspective … when you build a new product, immediately you start thinking, how shall this product expose its APIs. … 

Open source is a reality. We have a software business that is based on proprietary software. We tactically or strategically, depending on how you look at it, will take certain aspects of what we do and we will open-source them where we believe there is a real benefit to the community and to the nature of the growth of that technology in open-sourcing it. … The bottom line is we believe very much in the quality of Microsoft products and we are an (intellectual-property) based business. But we live in a world together with open-source, and we have to make it possible for you to build solutions, or customers to build solutions, that incorporate aspects of that.

Can you make any sense of that? Doesn’t it seem so totally Microsoft?

I got this via the excellent Patrick Logan who had me laughing out loud at his post:


Ray Ozzie speaks, and he speaks about Open Source Software. I don’t even know what to quote from his statement. They’re just not in the right ballpark. The only thing Ozzie communicates here is that he just does not understand the open source community, which _is_ the community for building out the internets.

There’s more about Groove and Microsoft in general.  Go read it.  Patrick sees the Expensive Rift clearly.  This goes so well with the crazy video debacle, Yahoo, and the rest of what’s happening with the company. 
That link in the Patrick Logan quote, BTW, is on Techmeme right now.  It says no more than what I quoted.  Tells you lots of people see the Rift.  That’s part of what makes it an Expensive Rift.

2 Responses to “Ray Ozzie On Microsoft’s Expensive Rift With the Web…”

  1. engtech said

    The first podcast had some good discussion on this talking about windows help files and how they built their own format instead of using HTML.

  2. […] for its been a long time now in disarray.  You’ve fundamentally missed both the Internet and Open Source movements completely.  You’re in the middle of missing the SaaS and Cloud movements.  […]

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