Old news, the European Union is punishing Microsoft for abusing their monopoly position and in the process sucking a fine of 1-2% of the daily local profit out of the corporate wallet. The media is dancing and interested parties posturing. A high stakes festive party. One of the issues that is to the fore is that of documentation and openness. Microsoft say they have, the neutral third party arbitrating has said they have not. Reality is perhaps a little cloudy and no doubt, tactics and last minute plays will change our collective perceptions during the course of time.
Personally, I find the whole subject of openness and straightforwardness a little alien. I work everyday with highly motivated and intelligent educational community members, the code is open to review and there is a great drive for the use of open standards and elegant solutions. To get into the proprietary, monopolistic combination mindset must be very tiring for all those involved. Sure, everyone has a right to make profit, but to spend time hiding techniques and preventively IPing is for me unnecessary time away from the family or other creative and routinely profitable activities. We all have choices and so too does the next generation of brilliant thinkers. If you count the number of hours of wasted time spent defensively thinking and not bending your back in a soul enlightening yoga position. Or the number of chocolate bars eaten due to late night frustration. Then you will realize the obvious the wrong mindset can at your weakest moment ruin your whole life. If you are starting out and looking for a career, I think you know what I would advise.
Open source in general is just that open, especially for large projects. You tend to be open to the community and the members therein are open to you. Defending money sources for a monopoly one would assume is the same as dogs defending territory, so much noise and the added benefit of the smell of urine. Not a positive way to live, but perhaps challenging and a complex crossword puzzle to solve. Now the trick for big business is to make money and for all the individuals contained therein to have a quality life. Ethics and a creative mindset a good salary and profits based on giving value to the customer seems like a valid career path in today’s society. Defending a monopoly seems just that defensive and historically defense loses you the initiative and then the war. I would prefer to be on the winning side and that includes having my cake and eating it. I want to be well paid, ethical and open. I am enjoying the new open source renaissance and salute the new yet old mindset that has been already transferred to many a big business. I wonder where customers will flocked to in the next ten years. I wonder where new talent will go?