tigers and elephants

Is Microsoft a tiger or a rogue elephant? A tiger has its own agenda, and cannot be diverted from its mission:to kill and eat. An rogue elephant is powerful and intelligent, but they can also be trained. We in the opensource community are not sure of the answer to this question. If Microsoft is a tiger, we will have to kill it to have peace. If Microsoft is currently a rogue elephant, we can tame it and turn it into a significant open source contributor. Either way, I have faith in the power of open source to overcome, just like the power of water to erode. We can work with Microsoft without fear.

Gandhiji said "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." If we do not allow Microsoft to join us, we can never "win".


I disagree. I think Microsoft is a big corporation. All big corporations are primarily responsible in providing value for their investors by any means legally possible. They pursue what their management thinks will do that. Along side this exists individuals who pursue their personal goals. These goals are often altruistic and often selfish (not always in the negative sense). I think that if we understand where Microsoft has a clear interest that we can cooperate with and identify individuals at Microsoft that we can work with, we can work with Microsoft in those areas and pursue objectives that are mutually agreeable. In a long run we should organize to pursue specific long range goals. For now, we should work to pursue specific goals. Open source isn't as weak as individual competitors that Microsoft has faced in the past, nor is it exactly competitive. It can be embraced and even extended, but not extinguished. It is an idea not a company or specific technology, Microsoft is a for profit company. Open Source can support a for profit agenda as well as other agendas simultaneously. Now replace the word Microsoft with any major corporation. They are not THAT special.