[gnulinuxinasia] BILL GATES IS RIGHT...

  • From: "Frederick Noronha (FN)" <fred@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: gnulinuxinasia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 02:11:41 +0530 (IST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------

        From: "Zaid Ali Alsagoff" <zaid_a@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
        To: <ELEARN-OPENSOURCE@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
        Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 8:05 PM

        > Dear All, According to Bill Gates, "Open source kills jobs"
        > "In muted tones, Microsoft&#8217;s chairman warned governments and
        > companies that open source software is not the way to go if they
        > are in the business of creating jobs and intellectual
        > property...view url for full article
        > http://www.asiacomputerweekly.com/acw_ViewArt.cfm?
        > Magid=1&Artid=24328&Catid=2&subcat=19)"
        > Any comments to Bill Gates view. Warm Regards & Sincerely,
        > Zaid Ali Alsagoff
        > Head of R&D Department
        > Technology Division
        > UNITAR Sdn Bhd
        > Malaysia
        > Tel: 03-7627 7200 (ext. 7238)
        > Fax: 03-7627 7246
        > "Sharing Knowledge Is Power: http://elc.unitar.edu.my/  :)"

By Tony Bailetti

Zaid, thank you very much for the article on Mr. Gates' speech in Asia.  You
requested comments on the article, below are mine:

1. Bill Gates is correct when he says that open source does not create jobs.
He was, I am sure, referring to open source jobs in Puget Sound, Washington
State, USA. This is the place where the bulk of Microsoft's employees live
and work.

        Surely Bill Gates knows that open source is creating thousands of
        jobs all over the world. For example, today IBM and many of the
        largests, most capitalistic companies in the world employ thousands
        of people to work on open source projects and fund hundreds of
        external open source projects that employ many more thousands of
        people.  IBM and other companies have made millions, if not
        billions, from open source. In addition, many non-profit
        organizations such as governments, associations, universities, etc.
        all over the world pay people to develop open source software,
        install it, maintain it, support it, extend it, fix it, etc.
        Hundreds of small companies and individuals generate income thanks
        to open source. I agree that relatively few of these open source
        jobs have been created in Microsoft's Puget Sound, Washington State,
        USA. This is quite unfortunate for Puget Sound.

2. Bill Gates is correct when he says that open source does not create IP.
He is obviously referring to the IP that people pirate (i.e., copy a
Microsoft CD without paying for the CD).

        There is no incentive to pirate open source software. You can get it
        for free (or near free).  Open source does create a different type
        of IP, however. The IP open source creates threathens Microsoft's
        business model (i.e., making money selling software). Open source
        shifts the IP from product to service (or a complementary product).

        In other words, the value is not in the open source software
        product, the value is in the service (or in another proprietary
        product . E.g., a CD with open source sofware inside a book so you
        can sell more books at a higher price).  Thousands of people world
        wide are creating wealth thanks to open source.

        Let me give you an example. There are many more.  A book salesman by
        the name of Bob Young was barely making ends meet selling
        catalogues, books, and magazines in 1993. He created RedHat in 1994.
        This year Red Hat made $83 miilion US. What does Red Hat sell?  Red
        Hat sells its assurance that the open source software an
        organization installs in their computers has the scalability and
        security they require. It also consults, maintains and supports open
        source software.

3. Bill Gates is correct when he says that open source products do not
guarantee upward compatibility. However, Microsoft's products do not make
this guarantee either.  I dont know who does.

4. Bill Gates is correct when he points out that Windows has contributed to
the Asian economy.  However, so has open source!

        There is one difference between the contribution to Asians made by
        Microsoft and the contribution to Asians made by open source. The
        contribution to the Asian economy that open source has made will
        never make Asians dependent on the software from an American
        supplier headquartered in Washington State.

5. Bill Gates is correct when he says that open source is developed at night
and not during the day. You see, when its night time in Puget Sound, its day
time in many other places where people are developing open source software.

Tony Bailetti.

P.S. Bill Gates visited Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada a few years ago.
He is a likeable person very committed to his proprietary software business.
He was probably tired when he made the speech in Asia. This is the only
explanation that I can come up with as to why the content of his speech was
not a very solid one.

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