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Shared Source vs. Open Source: Craig Mundie and Michael Tiemann


Editor's Note: On July 26, 2001, Microsoft Senior VP, Craig Mundie addressed the open source community during the morning keynote at O'Reilly's Open Source Convention in San Diego, CA. Then Red Hat CTO, Michael Tiemann presented his counter argument to many of the points made by Mundie. Here is the transcript of both presentations.

Tim O'Reilly:
As my friend Doc Searls wrote in The Cluetrain Manifesto, "markets are conversations." And one of the most important conversations going on in today's software market is the conversation between proprietary software — whose most successful example is Microsoft — and the open source movement (I should say the open source and free software movements just to be clear... [applause]), whose work is really transforming the software market and changing the rules that Microsoft has worked under, and been so successful under, for so long.

I think Microsoft has displayed an awful lot of courage and vision over the last couple of years. I know people — in this community particularly — like to beat on Microsoft, but I really think that they have been extremely bold as they've really embraced very boldly this change from a desktop-centric architecture to an Internet-centric one. And they've been thinking long and hard about what that means.

And now they're doing the same thing with the lessons that they're seeing out there in the world coming from free software and open source. They're looking at what's necessary — or (asking): Is there something out there in moving from proprietary software development models to ones that are more open and collaborative?

Right now they've released some preliminary thoughts on shared source licenses. They might not like to think this way, but I tend to think of the current shared source licenses as Windows 1.0. They got that there was a revolution happening with the GUI, and they jumped on it and everybody laughed at their first attempt.

People may complain about things in shared source, but my belief is that Microsoft is really good at learning from the competition. And they're learning from us. They're saying, "Hey, you guys have something. We're going to figure out what's good about it, we're going to figure out how to keep what we also believe in." They're going to keep working at it until they get it right. So maybe they got it right this time; but even if they didn't, I think they're going to keep at until they do. A lot of [what] I'm really wanting to do is to help them get it right. And I want you to hopefully help them get it right. And help them learn what it means to be a participant in our communities.

Anyway, I'm really pleased that Microsoft Senior VP Craig Mundie has agreed to come down today and engage in this conversation about software development methodologies and business models. It's really clear that Microsoft is willing to learn from open source and free software, and I'm hoping that we're able to listen with an open mind to what Craig has to say and to learn from him as well.

I talked about markets as conversations, and the format of this keynote is also a conversation. We're going to hear briefly from Craig. Then we're going to hear briefly from Michael Tiemann of Red Hat. And then we're going to invite up several additional panelists to join us in what I hope will be a very,very thought-provoking conversation. And I hope you'll enjoy it also. As we get towards the end, we'll invite the audience in to participate as well. And when we do that, I really hope that you will be sort of as respectful and thoughtful as we're trying to be ... [audience laughter] ... in this conversation. All right?

With that, I'd like to welcome up Craig Mundie of Microsoft.

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