Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Microsoft's Annual Report Reveals OSS Mistakes 348

mjasay writes "Microsoft's most recent annual report suggests that the company is increasingly coming to grips with open source, yet also seems determined to perpetuate myths about open source that poorly serve it and its shareholders. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has suggested before that 'free software means no free soda' for Microsoft employees; but this is perhaps the first time that Microsoft has managed to enshrine its ignorance in a public document. In the annual report, Microsoft makes two primary false claims about open source: 1) Open source companies don't invest in research and development and instead largely free-ride on Microsoft's patents and copyrights; and 2) Open source projects don't innovate and instead mimic Microsoft's products. Perhaps Microsoft has forgotten its own 'innovative' past copying of markets and technologies created by Apple and others. But at least Microsoft gets one thing right: 'To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, our sales, revenue and operating margins may decline.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft's Annual Report Reveals OSS Mistakes

Comments Filter:
  • by tinkertim ( 918832 ) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @10:55PM (#24461761) Homepage

    That makes sense now. Leave peer review out of research and you get vista.

  • Compiz (Score:5, Funny)

    by jadedoto ( 1242580 ) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @11:02PM (#24461813)
    I agree. Compiz-Fusion totally ripped Microsoft's patents to the desktop cube idea.

    I just forgot how to enable it in Vista Ultimate...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 03, 2008 @11:06PM (#24461863)

    Microsoft's innovations stand on their own.
    Their accomplishments with active directory, for instance, are wonderful. I'd like to see the open source community come up with anything like it.
    Also, their networking stack is rock solid. It would take years for the open source community to come up with anything as polished.

    From the beginning, Microsoft has been an innovative company. MS Dos, Basic, I could go on and on. Their contributions to original research have truly advanced the human condition.

    Open source projects are simply parasites on the innovations of microsoft. Bah!

  • by Dr. Donuts ( 232269 ) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @11:29PM (#24462021)

    Your posting on the internet asking such a question? The irony is strong with this one.

  • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Monday August 04, 2008 @12:29AM (#24462381)

    In a surprising twist, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted yesterday that Free Software is the cause of better than average health for Microsoft employees. "Free software means no free soda" is the new catch cry at the Redmond, WA software powerhouse.

    "We used to offer our developers free soda, and never thought about the health consequences", said Ballmer while rocking on a designer chair. "Then one day, one of our employees installed Linux on his workstation, which also happened to run the in-house Visual Basic control panel that overrides all the networked soft drink machines on the campus. Suddently, people couldn't get their Mountain Dew anymore, unless they actually paid for it themselves".

    Ballmer went on to explain that the programmer who wrote the soda control software had left years ago, and nobody could replace him. Soft drinks were left in the machines for months and morale went down at first among the employees, but soon picked up again when a drop in the monthly rate of deaths from heart failure was noticed. "Free software is like a virus that actually helps you", Ballmer said. "With the money we saved in ambulance fees, I bought every employee a free yo-yo, and even had enough money left over for a new chair. Way to go, Free Software, we love ya!" Former CEO Bill Gates declined to comment.

  • Re:News? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2008 @01:46AM (#24462821)

    By taking the name of the popular operating system 'windows' and replacing the last bit with 'blows' (which is a colloquialism meaning 'bad' or 'inferior') you've just given the name a whole new meaning, while not really changing the sound of the word too much! this is the epitome of both wit and humour! other highly amusing (and often underused) slag terms are 'windoze' (doze meaning 'light sleep' or 'knap') and {'M$'} (which usually stands for MicroSoft, but in this case, the 'S' is deliciously replaced with a dollar sign to represent how they unfairly charge for their products!) This is a new wave of humour, people. I think we should riddle all our posts, replies and (where applicable) everyday speech with these little beauties to forever represent that we, the open source community, know better than everyone else!

  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Monday August 04, 2008 @01:57AM (#24462877)

    An entire complete operating system including thousands of programs that can be freely shared far and wide at no cost by everyone, suitable for use in the tiniest embedded processors all the way to the top ranked supercomputers on Earth..and now beyond into space?

    Outside of that, nothing I guess.

    yes, but does it run linux?

  • by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Monday August 04, 2008 @02:09AM (#24462937) Journal

    ...and a pony!

  • Re:RTFR (Score:3, Funny)

    by ignavus ( 213578 ) on Monday August 04, 2008 @03:49AM (#24463405)

    Cost of ownership has nothing to do with *you* owning the product ... it is the cost you pay because they own you.

    Perhaps it would be better if they called it the Cost of Pwnership?

  • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Monday August 04, 2008 @04:14AM (#24463515)

    The fact that today you can run GNU/Linux on practically any computer in existence is a direct result of it's unix-like design. Now take a look at KDE4.1 though, and compare it to VISTA - then tell me OSS isn't being innovative on every level. Right now KDE4.1 is a better desktop for Vista than Vista's OWN desktop !

    Umm, I just got call from RMS. Apparently everyone is going to move to his compound in Guyana [wikipedia.org].

  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Monday August 04, 2008 @05:32AM (#24463907) Homepage

    Indeed. What have the Romans ever done for us?

  • Re:News? (Score:3, Funny)

    by neomunk ( 913773 ) on Monday August 04, 2008 @10:35AM (#24466569)

    What? They've ALMOST caught up to a competitor in the field? That's the most excellent example of innovation I've heard outside of a press release.

  • Re:News? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@fredshom[ ]rg ['e.o' in gap]> on Monday August 04, 2008 @01:38PM (#24469603) Homepage

    The idea that Microsoft does all it's own innovation is bunkum from the uninformed.

    Oh yeah ? Well how about MS Bob then ? What have you got to say to that Mr wiseguy Huh ?

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!