As discussed on Twitter, I was neither lynched nor flamed for my appearance at today’s Microsoft NXT event. Sam Ramji took some very pointed questions this morning and handled them – as pretty much everyone I’ve spoken with has agreed – as well as they possibly could be. I don’t mean to imply that he had perfect answers – there’s too much internal inconsistency positioning-wise for that (and my position remains unchanged) – but that he took all questions and answered them as honestly and non-defensively as you could ask. Kudos to Sam, because he could not have been looking forward to today.
My own message here was very straightforward: whether you like Microsoft or you don’t, they’re a volume market. Given the importance of volume markets to typically lower margin open source economics, it might behoove you to consider working more closely with Microsoft, as JBoss, Zend, and others have decided to. If your choice is to not work with them for moral, religious or business reasons, that’s obviously your prerogative, but it’s a big channel.
That’s it. Nothing more complicated. I wasn’t there to defend Microsoft’s patent positions (Stephe Walli lobbed that question at me to open Q&A, and I essentially restated my take from last week), I wasn’t there to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy about Microsoft, I was just there to talk addressable market.
The questions I got were fairly varied, but certainly less contentious than I expected. Which was a nice bonus, and made for a nice, interesting discussion.