Linux Magazine: Opening Windows

“For three decades, the executive leadership at Microsoft
Corporation has maintained a firm consensus on how to encourage
innovative software development: you pay for it. User feedback,
while helpful, is simply no match for the mighty dollar. Cash for
code is king.

“‘Who can afford to do professional work for nothing?’ asked
Microsoft founder Bill Gates rhetorically in a 1976 missive framing
Microsoft’s worldview. Titled, ‘An Open Letter to Hobbyists’… the
essay was, in essence, a cease and desist letter aimed at Altair
aficionados who, according to Gates, were guilty of purloining
Microsoft source code without paying for it. ‘Most directly, the
thing you do is theft,’ wrote Gates…”


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