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Microsoft CEO takes launch break with the Sun-Times (and calls Linux a 'cancer')

Jun 01, 2001, 19:24 (86 Talkback[s])

Yee-haw. Mr. Ballmer remains in full gear over our favorite intellectual property destroyer, taking time out of a busy day promoting OfficeXP to explain how open source software works to curious reporters. We'll save you a clickthrough, as his comments on this particular issue are limited to a single swipe.

Q: Do you view Linux and the open-source movement as a threat to Microsoft?

A: Yeah. It's good competition. It will force us to be innovative. It will force us to justify the prices and value that we deliver. And that's only healthy. The only thing we have a problem with is when the government funds open-source work. Government funding should be for work that is available to everybody. Open source is not available to commercial companies. The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source. If the government wants to put something in the public domain, it should. Linux is not in the public domain. Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works.

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