While we cared about the IBM news last week, basically that they are coming for us, most people didn't. One person said "bah, you already have critical mass of brand". Another dismissed the news as the death of their project. The press cared for a couple of days and that was it. In 3 JUGS and 4 customer meetings one of our lead developers participated in last week the question of IBM came up ZERO times.
I am starting to think we have overreacted to the news.
What compounded this is the first signal we picked from our sales field organization. While the whole thing drew a yawn from our user base, one account told us IBM is fudding the LGPL, that is how they are going to attack us.
I am shaking in my boots :)
IBM IS AFRAID OF US, IBM doesn't like independent developers that kick their ass in their own markets. We had the number one market share at 34% utilization and IBM second at 33%. And as another of our lead developers put it "that's OK, since we are not afraid of them".
So onto the particularly slimy and smelly goo that is already coming out of Armonk. So IBM is fudding the LGPL and praising BSD style licensing. Why? Cause they can steal the latter, not the former. If you want to know more about this, I explain it in more detail in "From GPL to BSD to LGPL and the issue of business friendliness".
The thing that cracks me up is this: how can they criticize the LGPL with one side of their mouth and praise Linux, based on the more stringent GPL, with the other side of the mouth? It is hilarious and mind boggling if you think about it for a second. It shows
- either hypocrisy if they understand what they are really saying
- or confusion if they don't,
How can they tell the market that GPL software as in the case of Linux is OK when it competes with MSFT but NOT OK when it competes with their own software? One explanation I feel strongly about: IBM loves open source as long as it doesn't compete with it and only when developers behave like a bunch of good dogs and wag their tails when thrown a salary and a couple of IBM laptops at them. For the other part, real open source, professional open source is dangerous and they are afraid.
I mean, do they really believe their customer base is that DUMB? I am going to enjoy watching them struggle to articulate that message and try to make sense of the pile of wombat drops of a company they just acquired. How long before IBM sweeps it under the rug? He he.
Boys you are going to have to do better than this if you REALLY want to attack our number one marketshare. Something tells us you don't, as the Gartner report pointed out, since it would compete with your own offerings.
Peace, Love and FREE SOFTWARE.