This post is going to come across as something as the missive of a corporate apologist. I’m not a corporate apologist, just have this naive idea that goes something like “but can’t we just all get along”.

Anyway – I see that Microsoft has begun releasing a heap of technical documents that has the aim of achieving better interoperability and eventually data-portability. Read Write Web takes the position (and it’s understandable given the history)of asking;

Is this what data portability looks like? Or are these steps just being taken to fend off legal challenges concerning unfair monopolistic practices? Does that matter, really, if the effect is the same?

I’ve got to say that the last sentence is the most important. Sure Microsoft have employed some less-than-savoury business practices in the past, but they shouldn’t be judged today by actions of the past (in much the same way that I have many German friends – despite what my family went through 60 years ago). I’d like to think that in the modern age, the MS move is a good first step, and one which should be applauded.

And I’m sure there’s a bunch of opensource folks just waiting to disagree with me…

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • I think you missed the point. If MS “makes moves to try and be more open”, then I’m happy with it. I just don’t believe that this is a case where they’re trying to be more open – at all.

  • Haha. Unfortunately, notwithstanding a complete change of culture at Microsoft (very unlikely), their instinct if anything is to become more closed. They are very good at dressing their self-serving tendencies in drag as “community and industry-minded folk”.

    Bottom line with Microsoft: ignore what they say and take notice only of what they do (in the final analisys, not what they begin).

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