Open Source PIM

Mitch Kapor, founder of the company that produced Lotus 1-2-3, has started a non-profit organisation to create an Open Source PIM like Outlook.

Why non-profit? Why Open Source?:

If the desktop software world needs anything, it’s more innovation in the once-competitive area of personal information management, now overwhelmingly dominated by Microsoft’s inelegant but overwhelmingly dominant Outlook, part of Microsoft Office. No sane venture capitalist would fund a company in the financial vacuum created by the Microsoft monopoly, Kapor says.

(from Dan Gilmore.)

More “commercial-quality” software is being released as Open Source because people want to write software people use, but they see the strangle-hold Microsoft has and recognise that they can’t compete.

Of course, the prospect of good-quality Open Source software scares commercial developers. I have no words of comfort to offer them.

Did buggy whip makers ask that the government regulate motorcars?

I don’t know, but I’d imagine that they felt their way-of-life threatened by the car.

Does the RIAA and MPAA complain because the Internet removes the costs they add to the process of entertainment distribution?

That’s what it looks like to me.

Have the people in South East Asia simply recognized that the incremental costs of software distribution do not justify the high prices they are asked to pay?

Perhaps we need to get rid of commercial software companies for the same reasons we need to kill off the MPAA and RIAA — because they are dinosaurs that haven’t adapted to the Internet reality.

Yeah, evolution is scary if you are the dinosaur.

Finally, it occurs to me that American workers of all stripes have worried — just as the commercial developers are doing now — when jobs have moved offshore. What makes the commercial software company so special?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.