Microsoft Corporation vừa trình Báo cáo thường niên cho Ủy ban chứng khoán liên bang vào cuối tháng 7 rồi. Tuy là báo cáo kinh doanh nhưng M$ vẫn không quên dành cho FOSS rất nhiều ưu ái đặc biệt. Tôi trích ra đây vài đoạn nổi bật:
Đầu tiên là cách mà M$ đang nhìn những doanh nghiệp FOSS
Our business model has been based upon customers paying a fee to license software that we develop and distribute. Under this license-based software model, software developers bear the costs of converting original ideas into software products through investments in research and development, offsetting these costs with the revenue received from the distribution of their products. Certain “open source” software business models challenge our license-based software model. Open source commonly refers to software whose source code is subject to a license allowing it to be modified, combined with other software and redistributed, subject to restrictions set forth in the license. A number of commercial firms compete with us using an open source business model by modifying and then distributing open source software to end users at nominal cost and earning revenue on complementary services and products. These firms do not bear the full costs of research and development for the software. Some of these firms may build upon Microsoft ideas that we provide to them free or at low royalties in connection with our interoperability initiatives. To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, our sales, revenue and operating margins may decline.
Đây có phải là đối thủ đáng gờm của M$?
Although we believe the breadth of our businesses and product portfolio is a competitive advantage, our competitors that are focused on narrower product lines may be more effective in devoting technical, marketing, and financial resources to compete with us. In addition, barriers to entry in our businesses generally are low and products, once developed, can be distributed broadly and quickly at relatively low cost. Open source software vendors are devoting considerable efforts to developing software that mimics the features and functionality of our products, in some cases on the basis of technical specifications for Microsoft technologies that we make available. In response to competition, we are developing versions of our products with basic functionality that are sold at lower prices than the standard versions. These competitive pressures may result in decreased sales volumes, price reductions, and/or increased operating costs, such as for marketing and sales incentives, resulting in lower revenue, gross margins and operating income.
Và M$ giải thích tại sao lại đứng về bên kia chiến tuyến với FOSS
Source code, the detailed program commands for our operating systems and other software programs, is critical to our business. Although we license portions of our application and operating system source code to a number of licensees, we take significant measures to protect the secrecy of large portions of our source code. If an unauthorized disclosure of a significant portion of our source code occurs, we could potentially lose future trade secret protection for that source code. This could make it easier for third parties to compete with our products by copying functionality, which could adversely affect our revenue and operating margins. Unauthorized disclosure of source code also could increase the security risks described in the next paragraph.
Quả là một bản báo cáo kinh doanh thú vị, nó làm tôi phấn chấn hẳn sau một ngày mệt mỏi. Tiếc là tôi không đủ sức dịch tất cả sang tiếng Việt. Hẳn là các bạn cũng muốn đọc toàn văn bản báo cáo này, nhắc lại là nó giải stress khá tốt đấy.