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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?'"

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