boomberg bloopers

Frank Hecker frank at
Fri Feb 16 16:01:52 UTC 2001

Seth David Schoen wrote:
> Going out of business is a real, time-honored, traditional market
> response to changing conditions.  Some people (Schumpeter?) have
> written entire books on how it's supposed to be a really good thing
> that firms can go out of business.  But surely those firms would have
> to see that (by whatever means it might happen) as "a threat", surely
> they would have to feel threatened by that.

I personally don't object to Microsoft publicly saying that open source
threatens their business and is a threat to Microsoft itself. But recall
the actual Allchin quote: "I worry if the government encourages open
source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policymakers to
understand the threat."

What Allchin is in effect claiming is that open source is a "threat" to
the public at large, and one serious enough to warrant government
intervention to counter it. Not only is this a dubious proposition (at
the very least), it is also IMO a grossly hypocritical statement, given
the positions Microsoft has taken relative to the DOJ antitrust case and
Microsoft's claimed freedom to conduct its business as it wishes,
regardless of the effect on Microsoft's competitors.

Frank Hecker            work:
frank at        home:

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