[ Thanks to Myddrin
(and a few others) for this link. ]
We can all go ahead and have a case of the vapors: Bill Gates is
finally on the record as not liking the GPL. It's "Pac-Man-like,"
which we peg at somewhere better than "cancerous" and maybe worse
than "un-American" if the responses of our European audience to
that particular charge are any indication.
"Gates said Microsoft's stance on open source "has been
misconstrued in many ways. It's a topic that you can leap on and
say, 'Microsoft doesn't make free software.' Hey, we have free
software, the world will always have free software. I mean, if you
characterize it that way, that's not right. But if you say to
people, 'Do you understand the GPL?' (then) they're pretty stunned
when the Pac-Man-like nature of it is described to them.
"The ecosystem where you have free software and commercial
software--and customers always get to decide which they use--that's
a very important and healthy ecosystem," Gates said.
The GPL, he continued, "breaks that cycle--that is, it makes it
impossible for a commercial company to use any of that work or
build on any of that work. So what you saw with TCP/IP or Sendmail
or the browser could never happen. We believe there should be free
software and commercial software; there should be a rich ecosystem
that works around that."
As an added bonus for Microsoft watchers, NewsForge has a
brief piece describing a Microsoft gaming site that runs Linux
(cue more vapors). To round out the Microsoft news trifecta for the
day, we also have unconfirmed reports that CNN Moneyline is
airing guest comments that blame the economic slowdown on the
Microsoft trial. VA Linux is no doubt taking comfort in having
something on which to blame its appearance on
Fucked Company's front page today.