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FOSS, Business, and Psychopathy

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Sometimes, the naivety in the free and open source software (FOSS) community seems willful. How else to explain the outrage in some circles when another company is caught fulfilling its natural function of maximizing its profits at the expense of FOSS ideals?

Too often, FOSS supporters fail to understand corporations -- and, consequently, they are unable to deal effectively with them.

The latest example is the article on Groklaw about Novell's interactions with Microsoft over Microsoft's Office Open XML file format.

The article requires some patience. It starts with the giant leap of logic that Microsoft is pursuing the same tactics to sabotage that it did twenty years ago with the OS/2 operating system, and includes the obligatory swipe at Miguel de Izaca.

But, despite such excesses, it still manages to report accurately on the situation, proving beyond any serious doubt that Novell's interactions with Microsoft were contrary to the interests of both FOSS and Novell's status as a company that derives part of its income from FOSS.

However, what is extraordinary to me is the shocked tone of the article.

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