I’m a big fan of Eric Sink’s weblog. He runs a small software company and is very knowledgeable when it comes to running a software business. His company makes a well-regarded replacement for Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, which everyone knows is an utter piece of crap. On Monday, he posted about Microsoft’s announcement that they’re tired of leaving the source control market to anyone who makes a product less crappy than SourceSafe. I’ve actually known about this for a long time because some former coworkers of mine are working on the Microsoft team here that’s developing Hatteras (the version control system), and I had wondered what Sink would say about it when the news broke. He says that Hatteras is aimed at ClearCase, which I think is true. He supposes that it’s going to be really expensive. That’s not the impression that I get, but I do think it will be more expensive than Vault.
Interestingly, Hatteras was in development when Sink wrote this last April:
In one sense, we followed this philosophy when we decided to build SourceGear Vault. In this case, our “big and dumb” competitor is SourceSafe. At first glance, this may seem ridiculous, since SourceSafe is owned by Microsoft. Clearly, Microsoft is quadrant three, big and smart, the worst possible combination to be found in a competitor. However, Microsoft is big enough to be very multi-faceted. For the products that are most important to them, Microsoft is very big and very smart, but SourceSafe doesn’t seem to be one of their top priorities. SourceSafe’s owner might be quadrant three, but this product effectively functions in quadrant one. (In borrowing Barksdale’s intentionally humorous terminology I mean no offense to SourceSafe fans. But we’re very familiar with SourceSafe and its various problems. In fact, our SourceOffSite product continues to sell very well as an add-on which addresses one of the big problems with SourceSafe.)