Survived the NXT Event

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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.

For those of you that are interested in the presentation, it’s available here (ODF, PDF, PPT).


  1. I’d suggest that there is an aspect for those to think about that populated the [INSERT OBJECTION] field. As you point out in the deck by implication, a piece of software is rarely, if ever, going to cause someone to change OS platforms. Providing the software on multiplie platforms does provide the *ability* to do so much more easily, and that is where those that may not wish Microsoft revenue or market share can act.

    Provide your software on the Windows platform, and the Linux platform, and even the *BSD and/or Mac OS X or [insert other os here]. At least if your software is avialable on Windows, the people running windows may use it, and if it’s available on other platforms, they have another vector to switch if they choose.

    If you steadfastly remain isolated on your platform or moral highground, the Windows userbase will happily, (and to Stephen’s point with the large volume of users without penalty) remain on windows and oblivious to your efforts.

    I think the slide of the black sheep sums it up best. It’s your choice.

    Is there going to be a ‘cast of the talk Stephen?

  2. Good work at the NXT show. I thought your presentation was the cleanest.

    One question though. You mentioned that Redmonk is opensource and all the content is free. Are there analyst reports available for free of your website. If so how do I access it. Or is all the free content is what is on this blog?

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