Microsoft and Linux: All Your Base Belong to Us

August 9, 2022

Microsoft has traditionally been concerned about Linux and has never hidden its indigestion — until the original top dogs went to the kennel. Microsoft actually hates all open source software and CEO Steve Ballmer said, ““Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.” Wow! It sounds like someone wants to enforce a monopoly on technology, prevent innovation, and rake in dollars for personal gain. In other words, Ballmer is power and greed at its worst. Open source, on the other hand, inspires innovation and sharing technology. The Lunduke Journal of Technology, run by Bryan Lunduke, details his experience with controlling Microsoft heads and how Bill Gates’s company has slowly decimated Linux: “Microsoft’s Growing Control Of Linux.”

Lunduke recounted he heard Ballmer’s hatred for Linux and even had the CEO’s spittle on his face from an open source rage. Microsoft has slowly gained control over important parts of Linux and open source as whole. This includes: GitHub-the largest host of source code in the world, Linux conferences, Linux organizations-Microsoft is a “Premium Sponsor” of the Open Source Initiative and “Platinum Membership on the Linux Foundation, and hired prominent Linux developers.

Here is what Lunduke heard during a past Linux conference:

“During that keynote, the Microsoft executive (John Gossman) made a few statements worth noting:

‘You do not generally want your developers to understand how the licenses all work. If you’re a larger company, you’re very likely to have a problem of controlling all of the open source activity that’s going on … it can be bad for the company, it can be bad for the community, it can be bad lots of different ways.’

You don’t want developers to understand licenses? Not having corporate control of open source is bad? Not exactly pro-open source statements, eh?”

Microsoft does use Linux for Azure and Ubuntu, two products that make the company’s offerings stronger. This Linux thing will be an interesting challenge. MSFT “owns” GitHub. MSFT wants to sell subscriptions and maybe to what does not matter? Open source may be antithetical to MSFT subscriptions. Open source Linux? How about a subscription to MSFT Linux centric solutions?

Now that’s an idea.

Whitney Grace, August 9, 2022


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