Why do .NET developers fear open source?

November 25, 2008

The fear in the .NET community of alternative tools, especially open source ones, is doing a lot of harm to us. There’s a paraphrase I learned from the ALT.NET movement that goes “No one ever got fired for choosing Microsoft” (I think the original quote was about IBM). And it certainly feels like it’s tragically true, the fact that we only trust Microsoft to provide us with everything and that nothing trustworthy can come out of the plethora of excellent ideas and tools that exist outside of Redmond.

Whenever I hear about this, I think of a person I talked to once. This person was going on and on about this open source version control system and how much it sucked, how they had never been able to get any support and how it showed just how rotten open source products are in general.

Curious to know, I asked the person what system it was. The answer I got was “SourceSafe”.

Of course I had to tell this person (not a developer mind you, but working in a .NET developer team) that it’s not open source software, but rather some crap that Microsoft has produced.

It’s an amusing story, and is serves as a good example of how many people working with .NET seem to feel about Microsoft vs open source.

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