Another Alternative View
By John Clingan on Dec 02, 2004
Here's another op-ed piece that can have an alternative view. Here's the quote of interest:
Sun's decision to license Microsoft protocols allows it to boast the best Windows interoperability in the business, leaving free software developers high and dry.
Isn't better interoperability a good choice for customers? Some customers may want to deploy products with reverse-engineered protocols. Some may want the products that provide "better interoperability". The market exists for both when you consider the packaging that goes around these options. Both of these options have the opportunity to increase open source content in corporations. I bet many organizations will implement \*both\* options depending on the context (much like many of my customers deploy SAMBA and Windows File servers today).
Open source on the desktop has barriers to overcome before deployment in many corporations. Sun, through the Java Desktop System as one example, is trying to address those barriers. Licensing protocols provides an opportunity for cleaner JDS integration with a Microsoft-centric organization, with a potential shorter-time-to-implementation. The licensing option that can \*increase\* the opportunity for free software developers by putting open source technology (underlying the Java Desktop System) in corporate environments.
There are server-side example as well, but I have to head off to a concall. Hope this alternative view provides value to you.