I know. That’s what people are asking me. Why does the world’s greatest imaginary CEO care about Microsoft and Red Hat? Well, the thing is, as much as I hate Microsoft, and as much as I think they’re often clumsy and stupid, there’s another part of me that just admires how cunning they can be.
In this case what they’re doing is turning Red Hat’s own rhetoric back on them. For years Red Hat has been saying they’re all about setting customers free and giving them choice and empowering them. (Now of course this was all horse shit and Red Hat is just as craven as anyone else and in fact they make most of their money from software that isn’t “free” or “open source” at all — Linux is “free” but then they lock you into all this other stuff that’s totally proprietary and closed.) So fine. Microsoft now says, Gee, we’re all about letting customers choose too, and they really want all of us vendors to get our heads together and make our products interoperate. We’re listening to customers and doing what they want. Won’t you step up and do this too? Don’t you want to continue giving customers what they want? And so on and so on.
It’s a neat little piece of ju-jitsu. Microsoft is calling Red Hat out and daring them to back up their bullshit rhetoric with action. As much as I can’t stand Beastmaster Bill and Monkey Boy Steve, they deserve a little tip of the cap for the way they’re handling this. I’ve told all my guys to pay attention to this and see how we can apply it to those bastards in the movie and music business. Not to mention the anti-DRM freetards and the Greenpeace types.