Open Source: A 'Growing Challenge' to Microsoft
Open source software topped the list of business "risk factors" outlined in Microsoft's annual 10-K report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Open source software topped the list of business "risk factors" outlined in Microsoft's annual 10-K report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, published last week. The emphasis seems a little surprising. For instance, global open source Linux use currently trails at 0.82 percent, while Microsoft Windows dominates the operating system market at 91 percent, according to stats from Net Applications' Market Share.
Microsoft's 10-K report depicts an unlevel playing field. Competitors distribute open source software at "nominal cost," making money off services instead of the software. Moreover, these open source software companies, unlike Microsoft, "do not have to bear the full costs of research and development for the software," the report alleges.
Microsoft lately has made some peace offerings to the open source world and even joined the open source Apache Software Foundation, but the report depicts open source software mostly as a potential competitive threat.
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