Microsoft v Google

Classic Microsoft is the king of desktop, we use their OS and we use their Office suite, and a ton of other stuff. They write all that code in-house, package it up and deploy it in various ways to our desktops.

Google is the king of the cloud, we rarely touch their technology directly, we access it over the web via our browser. Google is the biggest consumer of open source software. They load it on their servers, perhaps with the odd tweak here and there, combine it with their own stuff and leave it there on their servers. They then charge us indirectly to use it.

As Microsoft distributes its code, it is locked out of much GPL stuff. Google does not distribute its own IP, so can use this resource freely.

I reckon this makes it hard for MS to close on Google in the on-line world.

And its not just Google, I see financially viable (sometimes) on-line services that are based on open source sw cropping up all over. I guess many LAMP stack ISPs were the forefathers of this trend?

Do you reckon this open/closed source difference is important?



7 Responses to “Microsoft v Google”

  1. Ross Says:

    If you use GPL code, add to it and change it do you have to make all your new code available under GPL, I didn’t think you did?

  2. gobansaor Says:

    If you modify the code for “distribution” it must be released under GPL. LGPL code (usually libraries) can be used in any project, but if you change the libraries, the changed code must be released under LGPL (or GPL). At least that’s how I understand it.

    If the modified code is not to be”distributed” e.g. being used as part of the the back-end to an internet site/service then you can do with it what you wish.

    For a good primer into what licence to use see


  3. Marcus Says:

    Microsoft v Google
    Godzilla v King Kong?

  4. Harlan Grove Says:

    I think the key difference between Microsoft and Google is old with change for change’s sake and new. I don’t think Microsoft’s current problems are due to closed source development. I think their design decisions have become the problem.

  5. jonpeltier Says:

    Harlan – I agree.

    Google is so cool. I have a new client in Singapore (I’m in Massachusetts, 14 hours behind). We’ve had several conversations using GoogleTalk, a free internet phone-like service. The quality is way better than cell phone and somewhat better than land line. I could hear the birds outside her window.

  6. ross Says:

    thanks Tom

  7. gobansaor Says:

    Now that JotSpot has been re-born as Google Sites, you now have the ability to set up a client/project specific wiki and link it to your domain name. Great for long distance collaboration.


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