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[News] Free Software Leads the Way in Inventions

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Open Source -- Can It Innovate?

,----[ Quote ]
| There's an argument commonly heard these days that open-source software is 
| all very well for infrastructure or commodity software where the requirements 
| are well-established, but that it can't really innovate. I laugh when I hear 
| this, because I remember when the common wisdom was exactly the opposite -- 
| that we hackers were great for exploratory, cutting-edge stuff but couldn't 
| deliver reliable product.     
| How quickly people forget. We built the World Wide Web, fer cripessakes! The 
| original browser and the original webservers were built by a hacker at CERN, 
| not in some closed-door corporate shop. Before that, years before we got 
| Linux and our own T-shirts, people who would later identify their own 
| behavior correctly as open-source hacking built the Internet.    



ITxpo: Reaction to Gates shows paradox

,----[ Quote ]
| Repeatedly pushed by Gartner Group analyst Scott Winkler regarding criticisms
| that Microsoft doesn't do anything innovative but merely takes existing
| technologies and ideas and puts them, quite successfully, into its own
| business model, Gates seemed evasive. Winkler asked Gates to list specific
| innovations and when the Microsoft chairman and chief executive officer said
| that his company was the first to separate operating system development from
| hardware development, Winkler cut him off.
| "You didn't innovate that," the analyst said, noting that Microsoft obtained
| DOS externally.


Crushed by Microsoft: What I learned

,----[ Quote ]
| Then Microsoft came along.
| By the middle of 1994, Microsoft wanted real-time 3D software for its push
| into the PC consumer entertainment space. Privately, it began courting all
| three British companies. As head of U.S. operations for Argonaut, I was
| thrilled when--after a very positive meeting in Redmond, Washington--we were
| lead to believe that Microsoft had chosen to license and promote our
| technology over the others. Someone close to the negotiations even told me
| to "crack open the champagne."
| The euphoria that resulted lasted about a week. Through the grapevine, we
| learned that Microsoft had decided to license the software of our competitor,
| Rendermorphics, and, worse still, was going to purchase the entire company.


,----[ Quote ]
| Was I fired from Microsoft?
| Yes, I was indeed escorted from my building Tuesday afternoon June 24th
| around 12:15 in the afternoon, roughly four years and six months after
| joining the collective.
| Why?
| So many answers to this. The straw that broke the camels back was indeed a
| piece of email I sent to Bill and Paul challenging the competency of the
| management in charge of Microsoft's 3D technology. This might fall under the
| broader category of being an insufferable bastard, but it was indeed a piece
| of email that did it. To be clear I don't believe Bill or Paul gave my
| execution order. They're very reasonable guys whom I have enormous respect
| for. It was a layer to middle managers on the thread between myself and these
| guys who made the decision based largely on how stung they were probably
| feeling from my choice of verbiage. Suffice it to say that I did some
| extremely outrageous things in my time, which tended to cause people to have
| very polarized opinions of my performance.
| 3D vs. OGL
| As many of you know, my last stand was in the area of 3D. For the record; In
| my opinion John Carmack is a God, and has my complete respect. The longer
| I've known him, the more he has impressed me. In theory John is absolutely
| right about OGL, but in practice it will never be for reasons that have
| little to do with technical purity, and a lot to do with cold market forces,
| politics, and NDA's.
| I have to say it will be nice to look at the industry again through my own
| eyes when the Borg implant scars have healed. I'm hoping things will seem
| simpler now to me to.
| Who am I?
| I was originally hired by Microsoft as their Publishing technology
| evangelist. The position of "Game Evangelist" was created for me a year and a
| half after joining the company, because I wanted very badly to pioneer
| some "New" technology frontier, and I have always loved games. The "dream" of
| DirectX was originally had by three evangelists in Microsoft's Developer
| Relations Group who all wanted to make great technology. The other two, who's
| names I won't associate with this posting, left DRG to build DirectX. They
| shipped versions 1-3, before the technology was re-orged to another group as
| part of the great "internet" refocusing that happened several months ago. I
| stayed in DRG to carry the message.

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