Microsoft CEO and incontinent over-stater of facts Steve Ballmer said that “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches,” during a commercial spot masquerading as a interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on June 1, 2001.
Needless to sau the open source community has been up in arms over this remark.
GNU is not the only open source license. BSD System V is freeware and opens source and we have used their software as well for many years. FreeBSD has been published on CD-ROM to make it easier to install.
Open source means a new developer add new features or fix problems with it. This way software can be maintained easily and the cost of creating new software is reduced.
Linux is free, it is maintained by a legion of developer who maintain all of the components. Corporate support has come and gone for open source and we expect it will continue. The advantages of open source is easy for anyone who has had to recreate 5 million lines of code will attest to.
Steve Ballmer objected to the idea the GPL forced all further development to continue to be open source. Open source is a solution to abandoned projects. GPL is not public domain, it simply attaches a requirement to release the source code to any modifications.
Ballmer touches on a few other items, including Microsoft’s new product activation (Office 2000) and licensing schemes, which, it is hoped, will pave the way for a thriving software rental business and its subsequent endless revenue stream.
Office 2000 was the first commercial product to require activation. Then Windows XP extended activation to the operating system.
Linux already was expanding rapidly for web servers which kept costs minimized as commodity hardware prices continued to decline.