O'Reilly to Microsoft: Embrace Open Source Software

In an open letter to Microsoft Corporation, Tim O'Reilly, the president and CEO of O'Reilly & Associates, asks the software giant to embrace Open Source Software.

"You have to look at your two major breadwinners, the Windows operating system and the Office application suite, to see the positive impact of Open Source on your bottom line," O'Reilly writes. "Internet-enabling Windows and Office has been the major source of new features that make it worthwhile for customers to buy new systems or upgrade their applications. Lacking the Internet, you would have had to rely on such dubious innovations as Microsoft Bob to drive upgrade revenue. And now you want to undermine Open Source? Try to be serious!"

In the infamous "Halloween Document" that became public last weekend, a Microsoft developer explained the threat of Open Source Software to Microsoft and explains steps the company can take to meet the challenge head-on. Specifically, the memo says that subverting open protocols into proprietary ones that run better on Windows is key.

"Microsoft is too smart a company to sacrifice long-term vitality for short-term advantage," O'Reilly continues. "Instead of trying to crush Open Source, you should follow the lead of companies like O'Reilly, IBM and Silicon Graphics, who are supporting various Open Source communities while finding ways to build commercial added-value products on the open platforms these communities provide."

It should be noted that O'Reilly & Associates is most famous for its line of UNIX books, which are generally considered to be best-of-breed. On the other hand, O'Reilly, like the rest of the computer industry, has recently begun focusing on Windows-related titles.

The entire letter is available on the O'Reilly Web site

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