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Microsoft: free software is a political manifesto

By Sparky | November 25, 2005

In another rather brazen move Microsoft has started to bully around a UN committee at the World Summit on the Information Society. Ars Technica reports that Microsoft is working to covertly change documents being presented to the UN to remove any references to free software or Linux. The original draft of the paper being presented to the UN contained the following statement:

Increasingly, revenue is generated not by selling content and digital works, as they can be freely distributed at almost no cost, but by offering services on top of them. The success of the free software model is one example.

It is clear that this is true due to the number of companies that have been able to be quite successful selling their services customizing Linux and other open source solutions for their clients, as well as using open source software as a platform to sell content legally. Microsoft argued that the reference to free software should be removed because:

The aim of free software is not to enable a healthy business on software but rather to make it even impossible to make any income on software as a commercial product.

It’s sad to see a company like Microsoft throwing their monopolistic ideas around in an effort to crush the future hopes of technology. For a company that openly refers to Linux as a cancer they obviously have a very short sighted view on the technology market. Open Source software (whether free, or for charge) is the future of the industry and the only way that an individual or organization can truly have confidence in the extensibility and long term stability of a technology solution.

I’m not sure how long Microsoft is going to continue to make efforts to drag their feet in the past and support closed source, crippled solutions. It might seem like a good idea from their dark and lonely Redmond citadel, but as more and more companies realize the power of being able to control, own, extend, and customize every aspect of their enterprise.

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Topics: Open source, Technology | Comments Off

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