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ZDNet: Microsoft's ironic valentine

Mar 10, 2001, 16:00 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Tiemann)

"February is the month most Americans reserve for sending notes to loved ones, but Microsoft sent anything but hugs and kisses this year in a series of interviews criticizing the Open Source community. Following Steve Ballmer's proclamation that Linux is currently the greatest threat to Microsoft, a handful of Microsoft executives began a rather reckless attack of Open Source -- and everything related to it. Doug Miller piped in with "there's little value in free" and James Allchin boldly cried that Open Source is an "intellectual property destroyer" that "kills innovation."

"Microsoft should have sent the Open Source community a big box of candy and dozens of roses. Open Source software has been the epicenter of some of the greatest innovations of our industry -- namely, the Internet. And these innovations have benefited Microsoft handsomely. Sound ridiculous? Let me explain."

"The genius of the Internet was two-fold: (1) its decentralized architecture, which made it scalable, and (2) its implementation of truly open protocols, which made it ubiquitous. Unlike gold, whose value is in its scarcity, the value of a network is a function of its ubiquity. The Internet was not the first computer network, but it was the first that could grow organically without central control. It was also the first network with published, Open Source implementations of its fundamental protocol, TCP/IP, enabling compatibility among competing implementations."

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