A blog for the enterprise open source community
Ballmer’s upside down thinking on open sourceMatthew Aslett, November 7, 2008 @ 5:36 am ET
Steve Ballmer admitted as much during a visit to Australia this week:
“I don’t really understand their strategy. Maybe somebody else does. If I went to my shareholder meeting, my analyst meeting, and said, ‘hey, we’ve just launched a new product that has no revenue model!’…I’m not sure that my investors would take that very well. But that’s kind of what Google’s telling their investors about Android,” he said, according to Cnet.
Contrast that statement with this question Ballmer was asked, according to CIO.com, during a Power to Developers event in Sydney:
“Why is IE still relevant and why is it worth spending money on rendering engines when there are open source ones available that can respond to changes in Web standards faster?”
As the author, Rodney Gedda, notes:
If I was a Microsoft share holder I would want to know why Microsoft is sinking so much money into its own Web browser rendering engine when there are others available for free.
And indeed when it is giving it away for free. I’m sure Steve Ballmer understands perfectly well what the model is and is just taking the opportunity to disparage a rival with his comments about Android, but it doesn’t present a good impression.
Incidentally, the opening line of Gedda’s report made me smile:
Microsoft has given its most ringing endorsement of open source Web browsers to date with chief executive officer Steve Ballmer not ruling out adopting such technology…
I guess with Steve Ballmer not ruling out open source is as close as you’re going to get to a ringing endorsement.
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