What does Bill Gates think of Linux

Wired publishes an interesting article on Bill Gates’ thoughts on the pharmaceutical industry, which he is increasingly focusing on as he leaves Microsoft to join his foundation. He clearly understands the basic problem, although I think he has the wrong solution in dismissing the idea that open source medicine is a great opportunity. As for why… well, I’ll talk about that in a future post. Instead, for this post, I wanted to focus on a rather strange statement from Gates (until the end of the article) when explaining why he doesn’t like open source software. His complaint is that open source creates a license “so that nobody can improve the software.” It’s hard to understand how to respond to this statement because it’s the exact opposite of how open source software works. The exact point is that anyone can improve the software. It is proprietary software like Microsoft’s that is limited, so only Microsoft can improve it. It’s no secret that Gates is not a fan of open source software, but it still seems strange that he would make such a patently false statement, both in theory and in practice. Maybe old FUD habits are hard to break, but hopefully by the time he retires, he’ll be more open-minded about those things.

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How did Linux thrive?

Anyone would think that making an enemy of the world’s richest man (who was Microsoft founder Bill Gates at age 31) would have been a suicidal move.

But actually, Torvalds was smarter than he thought when he chose the humble penguin as the mascot for his operating system. Penguins are hardy survivors, capable of living in the harshest conditions on Earth. They are versatile, being one of the few swimming birds. And they are very social, finding their strength in numbers.

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