Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Partners may be worse than enemies

An intriguing article by Fortune Magazine on Microsoft's China strategy reveals how Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy officer was deployed by Bill Gates in 1999 to fix the company's problems with the Chinese market and its government. Mundie turned around Microsoft's strategy from short-term to long-term engagement - one from antagonism to partnership. Mundie even hired famous China lobbyist Henry Kissinger as advisor.

Bill Gates is quoted in the article, "It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not... You can get the real thing, and you get the same price." After walking hand in hand with China's leadership, Microsoft's alliance with officialdom is but a short term gain. Arrogance, Microsoft's true partner, is the enemy of progress. In the long run it will only blind Microsoft to the paradigm shift that open source signifies.

1 comment:

EverywhereSpirit said...

To give the devil his due though, don't you think he's right :-). I do sometimes wonder how much MS' monopoly would really be stifled if people actually paid for their SW. Correspondingly, imagine what MS' revenues would be as well !!

Your point is well made though. And time will tell how essentially smart people are milking the cash-cow for what it's worth before the flow stops.