Keith Curtis, um programador que trabalhou durante 11 anos na Microsoft lançou um livro em que explica as razões pelas quais a Microsoft irá cair perante o modelo do Software Livre.
Numa entrevista à NetworkWorld Keith refere ainda que já podíamos ter computadores que pensassem por eles próprios e carros que conduzissem sozinhos se a filosofia da Microsoft entre outras empresas fosse como a do Software Livre – “se todos os programadores de IA do mundo colaborassem com o sistema de código aberto hoje a tecnologia serviria-nos melhor a nós Humanos”.
Fala também que se a Microsoft tivesse aberto o código do Windows à 20 anos atrás o Linux não existiria e este modelo de código deles é o que levou ao fiasco do Vista, refere ainda que se o Internet Explorer também tivesse sido aberto não existiria o Firefox.
Excerto da entrevista no NetworkWorld
Bill Gates probably will not sing the praises of Keith Curtis, a programmer with Microsoft for 11 years who’s now left the fold and written a book about why the Redmond way will fail. Oh yeah, Curtis is not afraid to speak his mind as a Linux guru, either.
The mantra Curtis repeats throughout his book “After the Software Wars“: proprietary software is holding us back as a society.
In what ways will free software be Microsoft’s undoing?
Free software will lead to the demise of Microsoft as we know it in two ways.
First, the free software community is producing technically superior products through an open, collaborative development model. People think of Wikipedia as an encyclopedia, and not primarily software, but it is an excellent case study of this coming revolution.
There are also many pieces of free software that have demonstrated technical superiority to their proprietary counterparts. Firefox is widely regarded by Web developers as superior to Internet Explorer. The Linux kernel runs everything from cell phones to supercomputers. Even Apple threw away their proprietary kernel and replaced it with a free one.
OpenOffice still needs some work, it is good enough for perhaps 99% of users. I worked on text engines for five years at Microsoft and wrote my book using OpenOffice.
The biggest difference between Windows and Linux is that free software contains thousands of applications, installable with one click, and managed as one set. A Linux operating system includes all the obvious stuff like a spreadsheet, Web browser and instant messaging. But it also includes tools for making pictures and music, server software and development tools.
What can Microsoft do to curb the threat of free software, and what do you think it will be willing to do?
Other than adopting Linux, there is little Microsoft can do. Even if they did embrace it, not only would it hurt their profit margins, they’d be forced to explain to customers why they should continue to pay for Office if the company believes the free OpenOffice is good enough.
So I don’t really know what Microsoft can do. While the company says it doesn’t like piracy, it does allow itself to compete on price with free software. As Bill Gates wrote: “It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”