Bonum Certa Men Certa

It's the Executives' Fault, Not the Developers'

For quite some time we have suspected that personal financial incentives play a role in the making of controversial (even insane) deals. Somebody from Groklaw identified what s/he believes to be the story behind the Xandros deal. According to one source that I spotted yesterday, Xandros has been negotiating with Microsoft since November 2006. Have a look at this article which goes back to that time:

"About three weeks ago I started to see strange faces pop up in the conference room, and they turned out to be investors. Then one weekend, someone had cleaned out a [seldom-used] room and given it to an investor as an office. A week later we were canned."


Is it possible that developers are altogether excluded from negotiations which involve non-technical staff? Without seeking their advice, mistakes are bound to be made. Those who negotiate from the "dark side" therefore thrive in secrecy.

Are those that are misinformed responsible for making deals whose outcome is not realised until it's too late? Recall what Jeremy Allison told us. Also bear in mind that there is quite a series of companies that sign agreements with Microsoft. These deals always work in Microsoft's favour, but the boardroom is easily lured in by cash. It is oblivious to many factors, such as the fate of many companies that have already liaised with Microsoft, not to mention the reaction from some customers. Lack of transparency produces poor code. Lack of transparency in a company's decisions produces errors.

Novell. JBoss. XenSource. Zend. Samsung. Xandros.

One by one, free and open source software providers are signing agreements with “the dark side”, the poster child for proprietary software, and (many say) the antithesis of open source: Microsoft.

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