Clayton Christensen of “disruptive technology” fame had suggested that open source was a disruptive innovation posed to carve up the proprietary software landscape earlier this year, but this is the first time he put his foot down – and his target of scorn was ol’ Microsoft herself.
Repent Microsoft, and bring Linux in ye heart, or suffer the consequences, he told attendees at the Future Forward technology conference. He even suggest they buy up RIM, the Waterloo-based manufacturer of the wireless confectionary known as the Blackberry. That would mean ditching Windows CE and focus on Linux thin clients.
Ideas are good and all, but I suspect there is more than one way to skin a penguin. Microsoft has traditionally acknowledge disruptive tech and have been slowly chipping away at their respective markets, such as smartphones (via Stinger), game consoles (via Xbox), lightweight computing (via TabletPC), PDAs (via PocketPC), enterprise integration (Office System, Windows 2003).
Admittedly, they’re bleeding like crazy doing this, and do not hold dominant positions in any of these burgeoning fields. However, if there’s one thing MS is good at, it’s leaning its enormous weight against its competitors until they become absorbed or squished. Whether they need Linux to be disruptive remains to be seen.