Novell will (continue to) support KDE after all

Scott Elcomb psema4-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at
Wed Nov 16 07:32:19 UTC 2005

On 11/16/05, Peter <plp-ysDPMY98cNQDDBjDh4tngg at> wrote:
> >> Actually, that's what Microsoft does.  Microsoft simply buys out the
> >> winners.
> >
> > Lol. Isn't that the truth.   :-)
> Excellent winning strategy. For a supermarket chain who is into short
> term profit maximization, mostly through rebranding, and nearly nothing
> else.
> Of course it helps to have millions of paying beta testers and a product
> complex and buggy enough to have started several industries on the side
> (like antivirus/security and recovery/maintenance), all this backed by
> some of the best advertising and political lobbys available. What has
> this got to do with progress *or* technology ?!

In a recent discussion, the idea came up that f/loss development
models were similar to biological evolution.  (This was in response to
a book about best -and worst- practices in "Producing Open Source

The inevitable happened, and M$ got mentioned...  Here's the response
I sent, and what it has to do with both progress and technology as I
see it:

-- quote begins --
I don't think your analogy broke down at all though - at least not if
you take into account Microsoft's use of psychology (advertising,
marketing, fud, etc) and law (software patents, business acquisitions,
gov't lobbying, etc).

There are very obviously technical (and other) issues with Windows,
but it still dominates for the simple reason that M$ does not allow
the software to speak for itself:  When people and technology are
mixed, the raw forces of pschology and law become valid* weapons for
the survival of a product or business.

Windows itself may not be the "product of Intelligent Design," but I'm
fairly certain it's continued survival and proliferation is.  The
long-standing dominance of Window's in the business world could thus,
perhaps, be described a little better as being "a by-product of
Intelligent Design."

* Valid, meaning feasible within existing national/global economic
ecologies and legal frameworks.   This does not necessarily equate in
any way to being ethical.  I'd like to imagine that this is why M$ is
"afraid" of Free/Libre and Open Source Software.  ;-)
-- end quote --

> > Strategy is about minimizing the "misses" in a hit-and-miss environment.
> Imho strategy in a technology oriented firm is to keep the technically
> necessary misses affordable (but financed) so as to maintain technical
> progress and reasonable financial gains (both of these at the same
> time). Imho, if it's all about minimizing the misses then they should go
> for something with a really stable business plan, like groceries or
> dental health care.

Strategy was meant in a general way - things get very complex in large
firms.  It looks and sounds simple, but it's not.  For similar reasons
as to why flame wars break out in f/loss projects (in a general
sense):  Politics.  The larger the "virtual entity" the more forces it
must content with, both internal and external.

The best strategy (I think) for any "entity" is open, reliable, and
verifiable communication.

See also:


Scott Elcomb
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