Why can’t we just get along?

Why can’t we just get along?


The Star Online > Corpit

Published: Friday June 5, 2009 MYT 4:59:00 PM

Why can’t we just get along?


KUALA LUMPUR: One of the points stressed at the MSC Malaysia Open Source Conference 2009 is that there need not be a battle between the open-source software (OSS) group and its proprietary-software counterpart.

Gery Messer, vice-president of technology solutions in Asia Pacific and Japan for open-source Linux distribution vendor Red Hat, said the two types of software can co-exist, possibly drawing on each other’s strengths.

“There are always at least two ways to get to the same place,” Messer said at the conference at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel and Convention Centre here this week.

Software giant Microsoft, which is firmly in the proprietary-software camp agreed.

“We are committed to being open when it comes to interoperability,” said Dzahar Mansor, national technology officer at Microsoft Malaysia.

“This includes ensuring open connections, enhancing support for industry standards and fostering a more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open-source communities.”

Microsoft, he said, is taking this path because it will enable its customers to have more choice in software and be able to easily integrate mixed-source infrastructure.

“Data will move seamlessly between applications and systems regardless of platform or vendor,” he added.

Traditionally, OSS supporters and supporters of proprietary software have been like oil and water.

Open-source proponents argue that proprietary software chains users to the software companies that sell such products, whereas open-source software liberates its users because the source code of these programs are open to everyone for modification.

On the other end, proponents of proprietary software counter that while open-source software is mostly free, its users often have to pay high fees for technical support.

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