basically tech

88 Microsoft Fracturing the Open-Source Community?

Tuesday 7th August, 2007

Mark Shuttleworth, the CEO of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, thinks Microsoft has managed to fracture the Open-Source Community. He also suggests that what Microsoft is doing amounts to extortion:

"To say, as [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that's just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game. On the other side, if Microsoft is concerned about its intellectual property, there is no one in the free software community that wants to violate anyone's IP. Disclose the patents and we'll fix the code. Alternatively, move on."

He's also noted that those companies which did make deals with Microsoft have made short-term gains, but will lose out in the long run.

"I don't think this will end well for the companies that slipped up and went down that road," Shuttleworth said. "Ultimately, it is the spirit of open source that really motivates your best developers. Developers have been abandoning Novell ever since they did the deal with Microsoft, and they have gone to Oracle and Google among others. That's unfortunate for Novell, but was a fairly predictable consequence of their decision and it ultimately portrays a lack of understanding about what it is that really empowers free software."