"Linux and open source have momentum and not even Microsoft can
throw a monkey wrench into the free-software revolution, according
to open source leaders at LinuxWorld Expo here on Tuesday
Microsoft's normal means of competition won't work in the open
source space, said Nicholas Petreley, editorial director of
LinuxWorld Magazine. If it releases a version of Linux, all the
other vendors will get to take its improvements and put them in
their own versions.
One possible Microsoft strategy, said technology analyst Greg
Weiss of D.H. Brown, would be to support as many versions of Linux
as possible in order to try to get it to fragment, just like Unix.
However, he said, Microsoft's main response will probably be to
try to continue to sow doubt about Linux and open source in
"Intellectual property, especially in the form of
software patents, could be a far bigger stumbling block,
said Donald Barnes, director of technical projects at Red Hat, the
leading Linux OS vendor. Companies that start opening up their
source code could find themselves targets of opportunistic lawsuits
over anything that resembles a patented process in their
"John [mad dog] Hall, executive director of Linux International,
said the next year will provide several crucial tests the open
source intellectual-property model..."
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