[MUD-Dev] Tim O'Reilly's "Open Letter to Microsoft"
ApplePiMan at aol.com
ApplePiMan at aol.com
Wed Nov 4 21:12:46 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998
Sorry this is a bit long, but AFAIK it's not yet on the Web (I get many
press releases directly). It's a response to the "Halloween Document."
>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 4, 1998
>CONTACT: Sara Winge, 707/829-0515 x285, sara at oreilly.com
>TIM O'REILLY SENDS AN "OPEN LETTER TO MICROSOFT"
>Tim O'Reilly, President and CEO of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., responds to
>the "Halloween Document", an internal Microsoft memorandum analyzing Open
>Source software and its potential impact for Microsoft. The memo, posted on
>the Internet by Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond two days ago, is at:
>An Open Letter to Microsoft
>In the already infamous "Halloween Document", you laid out a strategy for
>competing with the Open Source movement. You say:
>"OSS projects have been able to gain a foothold in many server applications
>because of the wide utility of highly commoditized, simple protocols. By
>extending these protocols and developing new protocols, we can deny OSS
>projects entry into the market."
>The point that you seem to miss is that it is these simple, commoditized
>protocols and a culture of building freely on the work of others that
>brought us the explosion of innovation known as the Internet. And while the
>Internet has opened new areas of competition for Microsoft, it has also
>opened up enormous opportunities.
>I'm not just talking about new information businesses like Expedia. You
>have only to look at your two major breadwinners, the Windows operating
>system and the Office application suite, to see the positive impact of Open
>Source on your bottom line. Internet-enabling Windows and Office has been
>the major source of new features that make it worthwhile for customers to
>buy new systems or upgrade their applications. Lacking the Internet, you
>would have had to rely on such dubious innovations as Microsoft Bob to
>drive upgrade revenue. And now you want to undermine Open Source? Try to be
>The collaborative, massively distributed development process behind the
>Internet and Open Source projects is not your enemy. It is your friend, the
>source of basic research that you can turn into your next generation of
>At bottom, the Open Source movement is an expression of the Western
>academic tradition, innovation and discovery through the free exchange of
>ideas. You rig that system at your peril. You have only to look at the
>stagnation of Soviet science and industry under a centralized autocratic
>system, versus the innovation that happened in our free markets, to see
>what fate you have in store for yourselves if you succeed.
>Microsoft is too smart a company to sacrifice long-term vitality for
>short-term advantage. Instead of trying to crush Open Source, you should
>follow the lead of companies like O'Reilly, IBM and Silicon Graphics, who
>are supporting various Open Source communities while finding ways to build
>commercial added-value products on the open platforms these communities
>-- Tim O'Reilly
> President and CEO, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
>ABOUT O'REILLY & ASSOCIATES
>O'Reilly & Associates is recognized worldwide for its definitive books on
>open source software, the Internet, UNIX, programming, and Windows NT. From
>their pioneering bestseller "The Whole Internet User's Guide & Catalog"
>(the book that introduced the Internet to the public) to GNN (the first
>Internet portal and commercial website) to WebSite (the first web server
>software for desktop PCs), O'Reilly has been at the forefront of Internet
>development. Building on its expertise, O'Reilly has also produced
>award-winning Internet software and innovative web-based courses. The
>company's active support of open source software extends beyond its
>publishing program. O'Reilly has taken the lead in promoting and
>legitimizing open source software by hosting the historic April, 1998 Open
>Source Summit and producing Open Source Development Day and an annual Perl
Rick Buck, President and CEO <mailto:rlb at big-i.com>
Beyond Infinity Games, Inc.
See you in The Metaverse! <http://www.big-i.com>
More information about the MUD-Dev