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LinuxのMSへの影響

2003/02/26 17:55
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umeda

シリコンバレーで経営コンサルティングを行なう傍ら、ベンチャーキャピタリストとしても活躍する梅田望夫さんが、IT業界の先を読むのに役立つ英文コンテンツを毎日紹介していきます。これを読めば、英語と業界動向を読む力が同時に身に付くはず(このブログの更新は2004年12月30日で終了しました)。
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Linuxのあおりを受けているのはSunばかりではない。マイクロソフトへの影響も大きい。ただマイクロソフトとSunとでは、事業基盤も財務状況も時価総額も全く違うので、Sunの緊急性に比べれば、マイクロソフトへの影響は今のところ軽微だ。

しかし、マイクロソフトがSECに提出したForm 10Q(2002年10-12月期)には、Open Sourceの脅威について明記されている(余談だが、このForm 10Qなどは、色々な意味でいい勉強になるので、興味のある会社を選んでときどき読んでみるといい)。少し長いがその部分を引用しておこう。

「Challenges to the Company’s Business Model. Since its inception, the Company’s business model has been based upon customers agreeing to pay a fee to license software developed and distributed by Microsoft. Under this commercial software development (“CSD”) model, software developers bear the costs of converting original ideas into software products through investments in research and development, offsetting these costs with the revenues received from the distribution of their products. The Company believes that the CSD model has had substantial benefits for users of software, allowing them to rely on the expertise of the Company and other software developers that have powerful incentives to develop innovative software that is useful, reliable and compatible with other software and hardware. In recent years, there has been a growing challenge to the CSD model, often referred to as the Open Source movement. Under the Open Source model, software is produced by global “communities” of programmers, and the resulting software and the intellectual property contained therein is licensed to end users at little or no cost. Nonetheless, the popularization of the Open Source movement continues to pose a significant challenge to the Company’s business model, including recent efforts by proponents of the Open Source model to convince governments worldwide to mandate the use of Open Source software in their purchase and deployment of software products. To the extent the Open Source model gains increasing market
acceptance, sales of the Company’s products may decline, the Company may have to reduce the prices it charges for its products, and revenues and operating margins may consequently decline.」

こういうSECに提出された文章は、誰にもわかるようにという意図で書かれるから、英語が平易なのが特徴である。面白い文章ではないが、わかりやすいから、内容についてあえて説明の必要はなかろう。

このForm 10Qを提出した直後に、マイクロソフトは、Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs)と呼ばれる670人のDevelpoerたちをキャンパスに招いての集まりを開いた。

「The MVPs will be given unprecedented access to Microsoft product developers as well as key executives, including chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates, CEO Steve Ballmer, and Eric Rudder, who heads up Microsoft's developer division.」
「Gates Taking 'Pervasive' Linux Seriously」

Gates Taking 'Pervasive' Linux Seriouslyという記事によると、ゲイツは、この集まりでLinuxについてこんなスピーチを行ったらしい。

「"OS/2 for about six years was that. And it wasn't a joke; it was all of IBM that was 10 times the size of Microsoft putting all their energy, their leverage on ISVs, bundling it with their systems, everything they could do to beat Windows, and we as a company had to learn new things, do new things to respond to that competition," he said.

But Linux is an "unusual kind of competition because in a way it's out there and very pervasive. In a way, there's more incompatible versions of Linux than there are of all other operating systems put together. That is, as people do innovations on top of Linux, they don't all get tested together and they're not all consistent with each other," Gates told the MVPs.」

「"It's almost like a 747 where, yes, it's easy to do a wing, it's easy to do a tail, but to produce a wing and a tail that work together under all conditions, that's tough, and that's the position we're in," he said.」

「"So it's great. There's always been people who thought the Macintosh would take over, that Netscape would take over. Network computers, remember all those ads and those poor customers who bought those things? So we take it seriously. I'm not trying to make light of it. I never made light of OS/2," Gates said.」

ゲイツ節、健在である。外野から野次を飛ばしながら眺める対象としては面白いが、こういうところが、マイクロソフトが嫌われるゆえんでもある。
余談だが、このMVPに招かれることになったBloggerのひとりが、こんなことを書いている(自分ながら、こんなものまで読んでいて変だなぁ、と思うが・・・)。

「Microsoft is jealous (and scared of) of Slash Dot and Scripting News. I'm hearing that more and more. Next week Microsoft is going to make a full-court-press on its community leaders (Microsoft calls them MVPs). The top three execs at Microsoft will be presenting to the MVPs and many of the Vice Presidents there will too (on Monday, 10 or so MVPs and me are having dinner with the VP of the Windows Networking division). I was talking with someone who works closely with Microsoft on a variety of initiaties and he said "Microsoft wants to help webloggers and others build strong communities like Slashdot around their products."
OK, I've started a few communities around Microsoft products (Train Simulator, NetMeeting, and .NET) and I've noticed that Microsoft-centric communities aren't getting strong for a few reasons:」

マイクロソフトが、強いユーザコミュニティであるSlashdotやScripting Newsに嫉妬して、同じようなものを作りたいと思っているらしいので、なぜマイクロソフト・セントリックなコミュニティが強くならないかを教えてやろう、という趣旨で、この文章に続いて、9項目の「ダメな理由」が書かれている。けっこう笑えるので、ぜひ読んでみてください。

※このエントリは CNET Japan ブロガーにより投稿されたものです。朝日インタラクティブ および CNET Japan 編集部の見解・意向を示すものではありません。
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