PBS.org/I, Cringely: Bill to Linus: You Owe Me.
Nov 21, 2001, 08:58 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert X. Cringely)
"So the shocking questions for this week are 1) Is Bill
Gates really the father of the Open Source software movement? and;
2) If Bill isn't the father of Open Source, did he violate a
crucial IBM nondisclosure agreement and ought to pay billions in
damages to Big Blue as a result?
It is hard to imagine Bill Gates claiming to have started -- or
even helped to start -- the Open Source movement, especially since
he has been widely quoted as once describing it as communism. But
claiming paternity he kinda, sorta did at Microsoft's recent annual
meeting while answering questions from shareholders.
Here is the fateful question: 'It appears to me that the open
source movement is gaining momentum, and as I understand it, the
key to success of a software product involves efficiently building
an ecosystem of developers and users, resellers, and so forth.
Isn't the open source model a more efficient paradigm for building
such a community around your products, and perhaps Microsoft maybe
on the wrong side of that trend of long-term?'"