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Operating Systems

Journal cmacb's Journal: Time to Circle the Wagons?

Here is some not so surprising news...

Japan, the world's second largest economy, made a proposal at an Asian economic summit this week to build an inexpensive and trustworthy open-source operating system that would be based on a system such as Linux, which can be copied and modified freely.

"We'd like to see the market decide who the winners are in the software industry," Tom Robertson, Microsoft's Tokyo-based director for government affairs in Asia, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

I think the market IS deciding, which is going to be Microsoft's biggest problem for the next few years.

"Governments should not be in the position to decide who the winners are," Robertson said.

You know, I don't remember there being any protest from Microsoft when the US government stopped accepting RFP documents in WordPerfect format. I guess they've had a change of heart for some reason.

Full story at

It's not the governments of Japan or China that need to be put on alert, it is our own. As Departments of State, Treasury, and the White House among others, busily archive critical documents in .DOC format that will not easily be converted to anything else in a few years, low level management of these departments need to be aware that going the "safe route" of managing everything using Microsoft tools will in hindsight only allow you to say "But everyone else around me was doing that too".

I suspect there will be more and more defectors from this way of thinking, even within the US government as time goes on. However as that happens there will also be signs of desparation from Microsoft as they try and appeal to some sort of warped patriotism that says we should all keep using overpriced, buggy and undocumented junk.

We need to stop thinking of Windows as America's software equivalent to the Boeing 7x7, and start thinking of it as America's software equivalent of the Yugo...

Q: How do you make a Yugo go faster?
A: A towtruck.

Q: What do you call the shock absorbers inside a Yugo?
A: Passengers.

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Time to Circle the Wagons?

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