Symbiosis in LOs LO11323

Robert Bacal (
Sun, 8 Dec 1996 20:04:55 +0000

Replying to LO11315 --

On 6 Dec 96 at 22:08, Michael McMaster wrote:

> IBM may have made much money from their patents .... according to normal
> accounting at least. But maybe they made the bulk of their money from
> making their stuff freely available.
> What am I meaning by this?
> The great value of IBM, at least until fairly recently, was the huge
> number of application programmes that were available. These were
> available because IBM not only shared its information early but also
> helped people who wanted to use their approach and helped to create a
> whole system of available work that they didn't produce directly.

I think it might be helpful to be more specific. Application programs by
third parties can and are developed by others with the help of virtually
any platform innovators without giving away the patents and technology of
the hardware. The information you speak of that enables such applications
is a result of hardware companies sharing "some" information but not
necessarily giving away the hardware rights.

In fact, the issue is so well explored that it has not been uncommon for
hardware/op system developers to actually pay major companies to do the
r&d/software development.

I don't believe IBM profited from giving their ideas away. My belief is
that IBM and Microsoft profited by good timing, intelligent
opportunism,etc as did Apple.

Robert Bacal, Bacal & Associates,
Join us at our Resource Centre at
Phone: (204) 888-9290


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