Software in the future

I’m reading Matt Mower‘s and Don Park’s response to Larry Lessig on the OSAF/Future of Software topic. The apocalyptic question has been raised. Will the free software movement eventually kill off all commercial mass market software? My guess is no, but I don’t have an argument why. Here are a few trends:

  • Free software has a lot of trouble dealing with Intellectual Property
    • Examples
      • RedHat and MP3 patents
      • DVD encryption
      • Software Patents?
    • Mitigating factors:
      • Popularize a free clone
      • Easier to ignore IP altogether
  • Free software hasn’t had enough success at building complex pieces of software (and next to no success at complex software that isn’t cloned from elsewhere)
    • Examples:
      • desktop still isn’t done right
      • Exchange killer?
    • Mitigating Factors:
      • Can do it with enough time and no moving target (office file formats/desktop)
  • Microsoft and other commercial software companies have not adequately made the desktop an attractive place to write software for
    • Examples
      • Web site interfaces instead of rich client interfaces
      • Viruses, Worms, security issues
      • Nats
    • Mitigating Factors:
      • Company Line: Soap and .Net Frameworks
      • Being Offline
      • extensibility, privacy, nickled and dimed to death

Hmm… My perspective skew is showing especially in the last one. I should add “Microsoft sucking all the oxygen from the market” based on the different angry blogs I’ve read, but it’s never felt creditable to me.


Tax Debate Spin ControlBrad DeLong Ta

Tax debate spin control
Brad DeLong takes out the scalpel and fillets Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter to the editor of the New York Times defending the fairness of the Bush tax cuts (the first sentences below are Grassley; italics is DeLong reading the mind of the letter-writer):

  Some observers claim that 40 percent of last year’s tax cuts went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. The Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official, unbiased source, says the top 1 percent will receive 27 percent of the income tax cuts [see how I snuck “income tax” into this sentence? All but the most alert one percent of readers will believe that I am claiming that the 40 percent number is flat-out wrong. *Snort*!]

[Scott Rosenberg’s Links & Comment]

Impressions Of A Young Mac Geek Ellen Feiss The Star Of Apple

Impressions of a Young Mac Geek. Ellen Feiss, the star of Apple’s Switch advertising campaign, was the subject of a look-alike contest in the Netherlands. See the gallery for the remarkable results. By Leander Kahney. [Wired News]

Domestic Violence The Media Is F

Domestic violence. The media is fixating on John Allen Muhammad’s Muslim beliefs. But the most relevant fact about him could be his record of terrorizing his family members — and how that didn’t stop him from getting his hands on guns. []

Implantable Chip On Sale Now No Sooner Does The Ink Dry O

Implantable Chip, On Sale Now. No sooner does the ink dry on the FDA’s curiously quick approval of an implantable human chip than the company that produces it launches a national marketing campaign. By Julia Scheeres. [Wired News]

Tim Bray On XML In Office 11 This Came Up On The XMLDev List As

Tim Bray on XML in Office 11. This came up on the XML-Dev list as well as /., but Tim Bray spent some time looking at the ‘native’ XML format MS is promising for Office 11, they are baroque, but they are XML. [More Like This WebLog]