All the glass clicking and cheers of late surrounding the apparent conversion of Microsoft to the open source fold needs to stop. We need the Cold War. We need Communism. And, yes, we need the OS Wars. Like any war, the OS Wars stimulate creativity, spark religious battles and divide the wannabes from the true innovators.
Give me back the days of the Linux zealots who hate Microsoft so much that they remove Washington state from the US Map. Return me to those days of all Microsoft shops that threaten firing to anyone even uttering the word 'Linux' on company property. Send me back in time to the days of "Ken, why are you wasting your time with Linux?" I want to hear Microsoft bigots pronounce Linux with a long I.
Where are the days before every Windows desktop ran a Linux virtual machine? Where indeed.
I want to wax nostalgic about the strange days of Microsoft's open source strategy to kill Linux and how it didn't work. The annals of history recorded that their attempt was a failure. Reminiscing about how every open source company shook hands with Microsoft and became a collective force against nothing is what I want.
We need an enemy. We need for Microsoft to be the Spain and Britain of colonial times when planting your flag on a land and oppressing its people meant something. It meant competition. It meant conquering new territory and claiming it for your own--natives be damned!
I want our victories to be victories of valor and of painful wounds--and most of all to be victories of a distinct belief system. I want real victories not Masada-esque ones. My dream is for Steve Ballmer to send a messenger to Linus Torvalds demanding that he and his merry band of 300 developers surrender their code to him and for Linus' response back to be: "Come get it."
We need Microsoft. We need for them to be our enemy--our sworn enemy. They and their kind are evil. They represent the evil empire. We need the OS Wars lest we fall prey to their evil-undoings and become part of their evil plot to destroy all that is good in the world.
May the best OS win.