As everyone probably knows, Microsoft and Sun reached an agreement last week to cooperate on all sorts of matters. It seems pretty curious that Sun, who made its reputation lately as being the chief of the Microsoft bashers, would reach this agreement at this point. I can’t help but see this as one outcome of the growing and continuing success of Linux and commodity hardware in the server market, where Sun’s strength used to lie.
Let’s keep things in perspective. Microsoft’s unethical business practices should be put into context. Unlike the pharmaceutical cartel or arms manufacturers, Redmond doesn’t overturn democracies or kill thousands of civilians; unlike News Corporation it doesn’t debase social discourse or undermine language. Unlike Google, it doesn’t pretend to present “all the world’s knowledge”, when most of the world’s knowledge isn’t even on the Internet. Microsoft simply makes some fairly mediocre software and charges a lot for it.