[Wolves] Two things...

Peter Evans zen8486 at zen.co.uk
Thu Nov 10 11:52:22 GMT 2005

On Thursday 10 Nov 2005 10:27, Simon Morris wrote:
>  >They are
> > so used to using a particular product that they feel 'familiar' with
> > it and this is where they (MS) then roll out the FUD card.  Thus, when
> > the full product is needed people pay up...  You've got to admire
> > their marketing skills if nothing else because they are good at that.
> I believe a common analogy is "selling crack to schoolkids"!
I'm donning the asbestos suit as I write this, and you have to appreciate that 
I am in no way a M$ fan, but I feel that the analogy is a little OTT.

You have to appreciate that what follows is a personal opinion and is coloured 
by my own limited understanding of the current capabilities of the tools in 
question, so if I'm way off track then correction is both warranted and 

It's a testament to the threat posed by the F/OSS community that the big 
players in this area have chosen to go down this path.  Unfortunately for a 
lot of companies the choice between selecting one of the current F/OSS tools 
(specifically in the database arena people consider My-SQL, Postgre-SQL) as 
opposed to a cut-down SQL-Server product then the latter is going to be very, 
very attractive.  The reason to my mind is that if you DO need the additional 
features then they're immediately available - no waiting for the next 
version, which may or may not be delivered in time to be included into their 
product in time for it to go to market.

M$ may also be re-acting to those people that do adopt the F/OSS products and 
realise that if they're going to use a product like My-SQL to underpin their 
work then their next question may be something like "so this free database 
doesn't actually need my Windows infrastructure to work? Hmmmm".  Another 
threat to the bottom line of their license sales.

What will be interesting is although we are hearing that the SQL-Server 
(Lite/Personal/Express/Whatever) will be free to download I wonder what will 
be the capability that it comes with (i.e. what features are 
missing/crippled) and what will be the terms of use attached to it.  For 
example, for a number of years now another major database vendor has offered 
all of their products for free download with the full capability intact, but 
you were restricted in how you could use it.  Non-commercial use, internal 
education only, etc, etc.

I don't see that what M$ are doing is a bad thing, it's only commercial sense.  
After all other - products that you purchase allow you to select from a range 
of options and you purchase according to your needs and to your pocket if you 
want SatNav with your car - it's a cost option (and yes my analogy can be 
broken because you can choose to purchase an non-factory add-on later, but  
it may not be integrated nicely and won't be supported by the manufacturer).  
As I said at the beginning, it's a personal opinion, but I certainly don't 
see this as being an evil act; perhaps a challenge possibly even a threat to 
F/OSS databases development on the Windows platform at most, but not evil.

Pete Evans

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