Monday, July 22, 2002

Real opensources client Real Networks is a media company that sells eyeballs to advertisers, which is why its client is so user-hostile. Microsoft is an operating system company that's extending its monopoly into applications through middleware tying, which is why its clients are so standards-hostile. An OS monopoly will clean annoy-ware's clock any day, so Real seems to be opening up its client code.

Since the client is free-as-in-beer anyway, I don't see how making it open as well will help their position, as making it free-as-in-speech just seems to open the door to a non-irritating client. This would kill their (no doubt enfeebled) advertising market, leaving them to sell servers. And who knows, the media business was always a non-starter so maybe now applications will choose to incorporate a Real client, boosting server sales. We'll know when the licensing details are released.


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