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July 31st, 2006

The Microsoft vs. Open Source Argument

It’s a boring argument, and essentially a pointless one. Pro Microsoft folks feel that if you’re getting open source software, it’s not equal in quality and there’s no one to call for support. Open source people feel that Microsoft is gouging customers eyes out with ridiculous licensing fees.

I’m on a Windows machine using some M$ software (more out of necessity than choice) but also use an awful lot of independently developed software and I rely on open source software for most any web project I’m involved in. I think the biggest flaw is in the argument of those that claim there’s no support with open source software.

The way I figure it, if I have a problem with my piece of open source software, I’ll Google for a solution, search a collaborative knowledge base, or ask a question in a discussion forum. If I have a problem with a Microsoft product, I’ll Google for a solution, search their not-so-open knowledge base, or ask a question in a discussion forum. I’ve never once called Microsoft with a software question. Come to think of it, I’ve never called any company with a question about their software. I’ve e-mailed a few times, but only with those that develop small shareware apps or open source software. When was the last time you called Microsoft, really?

The only real argument I can see for the Microsoft model is that, yeah, developers do deserve to get paid for their work. But there’s certainly a less evil way to do it.

Posted in Technology

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