Microsoft is starting to learn the same thing. Its customers tend to use Microsoft products because they work, not because some evil genius in Redmond dreamed up diabolical ways to keep them locked in through closed file formats.
Don’t believe me? Look at Microsoft’s support for CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services), a new content standard that promises to do for content management systems what SQL did for the database market. CMIS enables information portability between different content repositories. (Disclosure: Alfresco, my employer, was a founding member of CMIS, along with IBM, Microsoft, EMC, and others.)
It’s great to see a balanced comment on Microsoft and open source. As a customer member of their Interoperability Executive Council (IEC) for the last couple of years, I see them trying to grapple with this and understand it. It’s good to see press validating their initiatives in this area (and ours as customers — we’ve been pushing hard for some of these things as well).
That’s not to say everything or everyone in MS always gets the inter-op message, but I do firmly believe they are trying.