We’re Changing Our Name

amcpherson's picture

It’s been a hard week. First Bill Hilf, open source program manager at Microsoft (talk about a tough job), tells the world that “Linux doesn’t exist in 2007″ and that Linus has a job. (For the Linux Foundation no less. Can’t believe we didn’t keep that a secret.)

Then, Microsoft dropped a patent FUD bombshell on unsuspecting news readers everywhere. While my response (and many others) were picked up the press, exposing it for the FUD it was, there is one Microsoft patent that really alarms me. This one from 1998: Microsoft Patents Ones, Zeroes

(It’s from the Onion, a humorous and fully tongue in cheek magazine.)

So, we decided to change out name. The receptionist at the Time Life Building in New York suggested this one, and I think it’s catchy. Welcome to the Lenux Foundation.

All kidding aside, I’m leveling a full-scale FUD alert on the referenced Bill Hilf article above. I’m sure he’s a reasonable man, but he’s certainly talking to different open source developers than I am when he says this: “When I talk to open source developers, at least half are talking about Windows, from SugarCRM, MySQL, PHP. Every single one,” he said.”

We talk to a lot of developers and Windows doesn’t even enter into the conversation, especially the new breed of Web 2.0 start-ups. Open source is enabling their business in ways inconceivable ten years ago. (I remember.)

Microsoft is losing developer mindshare, and stunts like the latest patent scare certainly aren’t going to help get it back. The latest PR stunt on “choice” around ODF and Microsoft’s competing document standard won’t either. Both Bob Sutor and Andy Updegrove expose this latest announcement for just what it is. Or as Bob Says: “I’m not a cynical person by nature and I tried to watch my tone here, but a stunt is a stunt. I had hoped for better.”

Wow, Microsoft, you’re two for two this week.