I just read this really interesting blog post about what is happening in Iceland. I won’t go into detail as those interested should simply read it. Please note, it has some crude language and imagary. Basically the companies that are falling over due to the financial crisis have multi-year contracts for software licensing, and the software resellers are being held responsible for the outstanding yearly fees of customers that don’t exist anymore. Really nasty stuff.
I am generally against Microsoft bashing, because I find it both contrary to our message of software freedom, and that it turns off newcomers. Basically I believe we have so many positive and inspiring messages that we don’t need to use “because it’s better than M$, lolz” as a rationale for free and open source software (FOSS). However, stories like this are clear cut examples of how companies such as Microsoft can play pretty nasty when it comes to the bottom line. For another example of Microsoft playing dirty, if you haven’t already heard about the TomTom fiasco, here is a wrapup by Glyn Moody about why he thinks Microsoft are targetting embedded Linux companies.
It is very frustrating because ultimately in a free market, you wouldn’t have these spiderwebs of glass cutting down the competition, you would have the best products and services being able to shine. I think the great think about FOSS is that in spite of all this idiocy (and in many cases because of it), the general population is turning to FOSS and to openness.