Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 22:53 UTC, submitted by Remy Chi Jian Suen
Editorial So, Microsoft submits 20000 lines of code to the Linux kernel, all licensed under the GPL. Microsoft, who considers Linux a great threat, and once called the GPL a "cancer". Opinions on this one are flying all around us, but what does Linus Torvalds, Linux' benevolent dictator, think about all this?
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jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

IBM did unspeakable things in the past. The cloned BIOS was a response to the desktop monopoly they held. Affordable IBM pricing only came after true competition with them in the general software market.

I see two differences though, IBM was knocked out of the top position and has since aged. They promote FOSS solutions and directly provide service contracts for multiple OS including FOSS platforms. They also contribute a huge amount of code along with being a member of the FOSS patent guild (whatever the exact name of that is). IBM's abuse of the market and consumer is mostly in the past unless there is some ongoing predatory practice I've not heard about; and if there is, I want to hear about it.

IBM, like any inherently amoral big business, should be considered with healthy skepticism.

On the other hand, MS abuses of the market are very recent and predatory practices seem to be ongoing. They are still basing marketing campaigns on attacking FOSS in general and Linux specifically. If they demonstrate and ongoing history of promoting and supporting FOSS either as a business service or through code submission and patent agreements and similar good-will participation. As it stands now, the history remains too recent to be comparing them to IBM though MS could also manage to outlast there own negative history.

Edited 2009-07-24 14:12 UTC

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