Feeds

Microsoft vs. Google – the open source shame

Does anyone care when hippies get cancer?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google has those darling colored balls, and DiBona seems like a really nice guy. But I keep thinking the search giant has just as serious open source questions to answer as Microsoft.

Google consumes vast amounts of open source code. The company funds DiBona as an active, outspoken member of the open source "community." Google also pays for various open source-related events. And it's a fun-loving paradise where evil goes to die over a bed of Bibb lettuce topped with cumin-crusted lamb, lime juice and cilantro.

Microsoft describes Linux as a cancer. It also makes unsubstantiated claims about open source software potentially violating its patents. And, well, it talks about knifing the baby instead of tossing around colored balls.

But which company is open source's biggest threat in 2007? The one clinging to an operating system and productivity suite monopoly? Or the one that controls your search queries, e-mails, instant messages, photos, documents and soon phone calls without ever discussing an open standard that will let you manipulate all that data or let you move it to a new service provider?

If we're talking about ideals, then I think Google is the bigger threat these days.

The erosion of Microsoft's monopolies is inevitable. All we need is time.

I fail, however, to hear Google telling us much of anything about how it will open its data piles, how it will open its code or how it will do any of these things without pumping an ad down our throats every chance it gets.

In short, Google's motives deserve as much attention as Microsoft's in the "open" wars.

Where Microsoft has turned to the OSI for approval, Google has vowed to engineer around it. So, I fail to see how Google has much of a right to beat on Microsoft's past.

Let's all put on our Che Guevara T-Shirts and celebrate the inauthentic until some real open source vendor is ready to take on this discussion. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.