Chris Sharp, director for platform strategy for Microsoft in the Asia-Pacific and Greater China region, told Computerworld Philippines that governments that support open source software are not helping to build a "viable software ecosystem" in their communities.
Sharp is an interesting character, he used to work for Red Hat before joining Microsoft and now says that building open source software is a "waste of money."
Quite how this conversion on the way to Damascus took place has never been explained, but now Sharp is saying that governments that standardise on open source software are hurting their local commercial software vendor communities because these companies are being robbed of opportunities to make money that they need to invest in developing more software products.
He said that with open source, a company is in effect giving away its intellectual property, adding that this prevents a software company from getting back any benefits.
Quite what benefits a local company gets from buying proprietary software from Seattle was not made clear, however Sharp felt compelled to expose a few of the myths he must have believed in when he was in Red Hat.
He said that Open Source was not free and that companies that support open source are just as motivated by commercial interests as any other commercial software vendor. Sharp added that it was a myth that government departments were completely deploying Open Source. He said it's just one branch or agency of the government making the announcement, and it is not a government-wide purchasing policy. µ
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