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Re: [ox-en] Re: herrschaft

On Sun, Jan 18, 2004, Felix Stalder wrote about "Re: [ox-en] Re: herrschaft":
On Saturday 17 January 2004 15:20, Graham Seaman wrote:
However big IBM is as a whole, it does not monopolize the packaged
software market - in that particular sector it is an underdog. And the
strategy of the underdog in many capitalist industries has been to try
to break the control of the monopolist by providing free or semi-free
alternatives. The fact that IBM are currently using gpl-ed software to do
this rather than emulating Microsofts making Explorer free (but still
closed source) to break Netscape is just because they perceive the gpl as
fashionable and non-dangerous. So rather than this being a convergence
of the kind you're talking about - between large corporations and
free software - I'd see it as a temporary tactic, and precisely NOT used
by the largest corporation in any particular sector.

I don't think the comparison with with Netscape/Internet Explorer is apt. In 
terms of business development, it strikes me much more as a shift from 
commodity to service. In the software area, IBM is very much about services, 
so getting the resources cheaper to provide these services more efficiently 
makes a lot of sense. 

In June 2002, Joel Spolsky wrote an article about this issue, available in

He basically brings up the issue of "complement products". A car maker would
like gas to be cheap, because customers would have more money to spend on
cars, and would use their cars more - bringing more business for the car
makers. Similarly, a company (like IBM) that sells computer hardware,
computer setups and services would like the things it doesn't supply - like
operating system software - to be commodities, very cheap commodities if
possible (and $0 is the cheapest you can get).

Spolsky has a few other interesting insights in his article. For example,
just like system makers want to commoditize the operating system market,
so does Microsoft (as an operating system maker) want to commoditize the PC
market. And that is exactly what happened.

Nadav Har'El                        |       Monday, Jan 19 2004, 25 Tevet 5764
nyh             |-----------------------------------------
Phone: +972-53-790466, ICQ 13349191 |If you tell the truth, you don't have to           |remember anything.

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