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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The best technology...
by Aristaeus on Sat 25th Jul 2009 00:27 UTC
Aristaeus
Member since:
2009-07-24

I'm not sure that I agree that the best technology will just magically *rise to the top* on its own.

Many may agree that democracy is a "superior technology" for a society, but non-democratic systems continue to exist in many areas of the world (and -- notably -- in many organizations and companies like Microsoft). Democracy has not just always magically risen to the top (without major social upheaval and conflict).

I think that this also may be the case here. There are many forces at work keeping Microsoft in a position of power and dominance (financial clout, financial/political influence, financially-fueled legal might, financially-fueled advertising influence, a dominant OS platform to use through which to exert power, and so on). Technical excellence is just one of these factors (a factor which Microsoft largely lacks, at least according to some implications that Linus has made in the past). Linux is a perfect example of a superior technology which still has not caught on with most of the public, due to these and other factors which Microsoft uses well to counter and suppress the uptake of superior, free technologies like this. VHS, after all, won out over Beta.

So, just sitting here and methodically developing superior technology, I fear, is an ineffective tact to take in order to "compete" with the huge power that Microsoft has ballooned into, and I think that Linus is wrong about this. I don't think Stallman's more fanatical tact is the right way to go, either (may alienate as many people as it sways), but certainly it should not be that hard to take a middle path, and use the so-called "six degrees of separation" to communicate with others and propagate the uptake of superior -- and often free -- technologies such as Linux (which are not specifically designed to oppress and subjugate others). I am doing my part so far (have helped many to swap free Linux and open source software in place of proprietary Microsoft systems). And I do not think disliking Microsoft and its many aggressive actions against open source is necessarily a bad thing in this respect (as long as it does not become an all-consuming "religious war").

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