Thursday, February 21, 2008

Microsoft finally gets it?

You don't need me to tell you. One look at TechMeMe today and you'll see Microsoft real good at what they've been real good at the last two weeks. Making headlines. On the web, on the financial channels, and just about everywhere else.

Microsoft today announced a new, much-broader initiative towards embracing open source.
Have we heard this before? CodePlex anyone?

My take on this is probably a little different than some of the over 200 already published articles and opinions posting as I write this.

First. This makes a whole lot more sense to me than buying Yahoo. The price tag just doesn't match what they could do with the money in-house, while luring employees from Yahoo and elsewhere (Google?) to accomplish it. Yahoo has a lot of work to do, and buying it just means cleaning a lot of that up. Some of the employees make sense, some of the parts make sense but, at least to this guy, unless they're going to break up the rest and sell it off, it just doesn't add up.
(There are a 'few' stockholders that still feel the same way).

Second. Open source is a GREAT way to let someone else do stuff with their own money, then buy a little piece if it becomes real popular or buy 'the person'.., or company. (Is anyone thinking Wordpress here?). There's a whole slew of open source developers (Many of whom probably still don't trust this annoucement) that LOVE to write code, publish unique software, launch start-ups and more.

Why use your own development money when you're already pretty good at what you already do? Two strong quarters BEFORE any Yahoo or Open Source talk.

While there's no doubt, this is yet another direct shot at Google, it's a good shot, if they mean it and prove it .. and (and find a way to win back a growing group of people that just won't pay for stuff and write it themselves).

Microsoft's Mix08 just became a lot more interesting. Not only is the elusive Ray Ozzie confirming he will speak at the conference, but publishing a whole slew of open API's to MSDN?!

I give that a WOW!

Finally, it starts getting interesting.