Microsoft Veteran Banks on Open Source

11-year Microsoft veteran, Keith Curtis, has recently published a book on Lulu.com called “After the Software Wars”. In it, Mr. Curtis describes how he believes open source will be the primary innovation engine for many long promised technological developments, such as cars that drive themselves. However, what is particularly interesting is the fact that Mr. Curtis built his career at Microsoft, a company that quite possibly views open source as its single largest threat.

While I haven’t read the book yet, the Web is already abound with abstracts and commentary, including a good summary posted on the New York Times blog by John Markoff. Here’s an excerpt:

“The key to faster technological progress is making software free,” he [Curtis] writes. “The difference between free, and non-free or proprietary software, is similar to the divide between science and alchemy. Before science, there was alchemy, where people guarded their ideas because they wanted to corner the market on the mechanisms used to convert lead into gold.”

He notes that there is an important parallel to the end of the Dark Ages, which came when society began to freely share advancements in math and science.

It is refreshing to see a man who spent 11 years enduring Microsoft propaganda still be able to think outside the confines of the proprietary software paradigm.

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