Open Source Development Network Vice President Richard French
offers this column on the benefits of open source software:
"After all is said and done, what's buried under all of
Microsoft's anti-open source FUD is its own little secret: The
Redmond Empire is quite happy to fund open source development when
it suits its purposes.
For example, in 1999, ActiveState announced that Microsoft was
funding a three-year initiative to enhance and extend the popular
open source programming language, Perl--a technology so pervasive
that it has been referred to as "the duct-tape of the Internet."
Microsoft could no longer ignore support requests from customers
running UNIX who wanted interoperability across platforms. Helping
open source Perl grow on Windows helps Microsoft sell more copies
of Windows. Moreover, as others have pointed out, Microsoft Windows
itself makes use of many other open source technologies, such as