"Microsoft Corp. has 40,000 employees, $30 billion in
the bank and a lock on the personal computer market. Miguel de
Icaza has a couple of hundred volunteer programmers, a windowless
office just outside of downtown here and a vision.
His goal is to rewrite the rules of the software business by
creating and giving away word processors, spreadsheets, email
readers and other programs that mimic the look and feel of
Microsoft's signature products. Some independent observers give him
a fair shot. And so does Microsoft.
This summer, the software titan began a series of attacks
against a free-software movement that supports projects such as de
Icaza's. It's "a cancer," Microsoft officials said. "An
intellectual-property destroyer." Almost un-American."