Microsoft Versus
Dissecting Microsoft | Directory

Clearing Misconceptions

From a comment by Michael Bernstein on Robert Scoble's weblog:

Capitalism isn't the same as corporatism, and there are other forms of capital other than the monetary variety.

Few (if any) FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) developers have any problems with capitalism.

GPL software does not forbid profit. Nor does it make an environment where profit is difficult or impossible. What it does is make large *residual* profits from mere copies of software more difficult (and perhaps impossible). Most industries that are addicted to residual profits tend to collapse into oligopolies, monopolies, oligopsonies, or some (layered) combination, with the inevitable result that innovation is stifled, money is expended on marketing rather than creativity, and more effort is expended to make sure that the shape of the market never changes, rather than changing the shape of the business to accomodate the market.

Only about 5% of all programmers work on packaged software. Almost all software (proprietary or FOSS) is a 75% solution, and for the rest of the 95% of the programmers, completing the remaining 25% for a custom solution (and what else will actually match your business's unique needs?) is usually easier with a FOSS platform.

Copyright © 2004-2007 Matthew Schwartz