"How do you explain the corporate input to the OSS community? What about RealNetworks new open source Helix? "
I'm sure that if Microsoft themselves would help develop Linux, the OS itself would improve dramatically. However, as Microsoft policy makers recognise, the benefits of this for the community are only shortterm. As most business analysts have been saying for some time, on the long run opensource licenses like GPL and LGPL kill innovation because companies are no longer rewarded for their research and development.
And with RealNetworks with their "new opensource Helix" I can only think of other "successes", such as Netscape and Apple with their opensource Quicktime. In other words, this might be a sign that now is not a good time to buy RealNetwork stocks.
"Microsoft has been so unsuccessful in proving that some nimrod taking a 10 week MCSE certification prep course is just as good as someone with a real degree. "
It's because Microsoft products have a intuitive GUI. Because the os itself for example can determine what irq's and i/o blocks hardware uses, it's less relevant for MSCE expert to know these kind of things.
Now if we take RedHat, which is one of the few opensource businesses who make a profit. A large share of their earnings come from selling course certificates. However, a side effect of this is that RedHat has no interrest in making an easy to use operating system, since then they will loose one of their main sources of income.
To make an anology, all this reminds me abit of why the muskett replaced the bow. Bows were alot cheaper then guns, since ammunition and resources to make and use a bow were widely available. Bows shot just as far as guns and we're just as deadly. However musketts became popular because to train someone who could use a bow many years were required to be able to use a longbow effectively, opposed to only a few weeks to train someone to be able to use a muskett.
In other words, Microsoft has better products *because* you don't need to know everything about your hardware and software to make them work. Afterall, companies run servers not for the sake of running servers, but because they want to sell services to the public.