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Interactive Week: Developer Kings; Microsoft the Kingmaker?

Jan 09, 2001, 20:01 (22 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Charles Babcock)

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"Ironically, the proliferation of Windows enabled cheap development platforms based on Intel hardware, slashing the cost of development compared with the IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems workstations that preceded them. As many of these Intel platforms found their way into programmers' homes for after-hours work, the version of Unix best geared to Intel hardware - Linux - began to grow in popularity and spawn the collaborative development of freely shared code."

"It may seem odd to grant Microsoft credit for generating the open source code movement, but by driving down the cost of a desktop, it democratized access to computing power. By doing so in a highly proprietary manner, it generated a grassroots wish to fight domination. With an Internet infrastructure needing to be built, the only thing missing was the coordination of groups of developers in guerilla assaults on the domineering power. Open source code team leaders, like Michael Thiemann (the first open C++ compiler), Larry Wall (Perl) and Brian Behlendorf (Apache), seized the role."

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