The Halloween document

Max M (
Tue, 3 Nov 1998 13:17:00 +0100

Well many of you are probably already aware of this document, but here is a link. An interresting read for those interrested in open source software.

{ The body of the Halloween Document is an internal strategy memorandum on Microsoft's possible responses to the Linux/Open Source phenomenon. It smells too strongly of Microsoft's unique corporate culture (as revealed by independent resources such as The Borg) to be other than genuine. The list of collaborators mentioned at the end includes some people who are known to be key players at Microsoft, and the document reads as though the research effort had the cooperation of top management; it may even have been commissioned as a policy white paper for Bill Gates's attention (the author seems to have expected that Gates would read it).

Accordingly, it provides us with a very valuable look past Microsoft's dismissive marketing spin about Open Source at what the company is actually thinking -- which, as you'll see, is an odd combination of astuteness and institutional myopia.

Since the author quoted my analyses of open-source community dynamics (The Cathedral and the Bazaar) and Homesteading the Noosphere) extensively, it seems fair that I should respond on behalf of the community. :-)


Max M Rasmussen
New Media Director



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