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Leo Laporte: The PC and open source will outlive Windows July 30, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

Leo Laporte did an interview with Mad Penguin in which he says that the PC and Open Source will outlive Windows. I like Leo, big fan of his but I do think he has it all wrong. First, Open Source will always exist. Thats true, but I dont see it as making it into the dominant position that Microsoft holds today. He says that ” What open source teaches us is that while money is an important motivator for people, it’s not the only motivator. ” There is only so far that good will can get you. Good will wont feed your family, it wont put your kids through college. Some companies have found that out the hard way. If Open Source was dominant you wouldnt have as many developers and technology experts in the world as we do today. No one would see any benefit or motivation to working for free. Innovation would die and I doubt you would find much enthusiasm for technology at all. Most proprietary software developers I talk to take great pride in what they do. They find the job very fullfilling and they look forward to meeting goals. Unlike popular belief Proprietary Software developers are allowed to express their creativity. Do you think Steve Jobs came up with every concept in Apples Mac OS? Do you think Bill Gates came up with every concept and design in Windows XP? These were created by extremely talented people who are given free reign to express their creativity.

Will PC’s in 10 years be running Windows as the dominant OS? I dont think Windows has as much to do with that as microsoft does. If Microsoft doesnt innovate , if they raise prices above the bar of what people can afford then nope. Remember most people dont see it as they pay for Windows. Its included in the price of the PC. So as long as they have that, I dont see where they will go out and choose linux or FreeBSD because of the philosphies of their respective communities. Most-non techs, people who only use the PC to check e-mail and search the web dont care what OS they run.

Is Longhorn/Windows Vista a failure. nope and Microsoft could very well go out and design an OS from scratch. Compatibility has nothing to do with OS development. It has to do with keeping the customer happy, look at Apple. they designed a new OS and managed to keep compatibility through classic. If Leo thinks MS cant do it, he is mistaken. They have a tried and true, tested OS platform in the Windows 2000 kernel, which powers Windows today. With the security and platform enhancements coming in Windows Vista, I think Microsoft and Windows will be around for more than 10 years. BTW they only cut a few minor features and 1 major feature, WinFS which hasnt been cut and from what appears will be coming out less than a month after Windows Vista debuts.



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