Israel: A Case Study in the Decentering of Microsoft

This discussion of how Israel, a highly impressive pioneer of digital technologies, could be losing its edge due to its engineers’ orientation to Microsoft products and languages.  The article provides an excellent case study of how software development is changing, in general (hat tip: Jeremy Epstein).

A sample:

The Army-led structure is why we excel at wireless and it is why we are a Microsoft-beholden tech industry. And that is not good news in 2010 and is why Israel’s tech industry is starting to mirror what Techcrunch has said: that Microsoft’s ideas are not the future. Try asking Seeking Alpha (one of our companies) or Fiverr what it is like to recruit Ruby on Rails programmers in Israel. A nightmare. Our government is a Microsoft addict. This year they canceled the paltry 1M NIS budget to fund the open source office alternative translation to Hebrew. Nobody in the government computer department can even spell open source. They prefer the Bill Gates or Steve Balmer [sic] Photo-op rather than advancing technology. Ask Minister Micky Eitanwhat it is like to get an open source project done in the Government computer center, otherwise known as Redmond-East. Italian strikes and immense pressure not to let open source inside the government cathedral is what our elected minister got. The bureaucrats and politicians don’t want to miss that photo-op!

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