"No user of free and open source software (FOSS) can escape
having an opinion about Microsoft. Microsoft products and
technologies represent what FOSS users have left behind. Some
consider it increasingly irrelevant, and others a shadowy figure
comparable to Satan in the Middle Ages or the Soviet Union during
the Cold War. Yet, no matter how members of the FOSS community
regard Microsoft, all of us have well-defined opinions on the
subject that we can express eloquently at short notice.
"But what attitude do FOSS leaders have about Microsoft? The
question is not just gossip or a test of trustworthiness. How it is
answered can indicate leaders' values and priorities, and whether
they deserve to be followed at all. Yet despite (or perhaps because
of) how large Microsoft looms in the free software world, the rest
of us rarely glimpse the attitudes the movers and shakers have
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