"Pontin: Do you think the American press is
obsessed with Linux?"
"Gates: No, they're obsessed, in general, any
time some upstart comes along and takes on a company that's doing
well. I mean look at the publicity that GeoWorks got. Remember? The
press said that GeoWorks was going to wipe us out and throw us
over. Linux is much more important than GeoWorks, admittedly. It's
actually out there, selling copies. It's probably, in a certain
sense, our primary competitor. But if you look at the value in an
operating system, Linux just competes with one piece [of
Microsoft's Windows business]. There's no new features in Linux.
Linux is just 1960s-era Unix deployed in a very interesting
development model. But when you look at management, user
interface, security -- people have to buy things to make it do
those things. So, it's a competitor. But there's no place in the
world where Linux has been mandated by the government."
"Pontin: But you have raised an interesting
question. What if I concede that Linux is years behind Windows NT
in all sorts of ways? How do you explain the extraordinary interest
IT departments have for Linux? It is growing more than 200 percent
a year in sales."
"Gates: That's, that's -- When GeoWorks sold
its second copy, they grew! It's unbelievable! And then, when they
sold four! It's incredible!"
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