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Meet Bill Gates, the Man Who Changed Open Source Software

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Από το wired enterprise

The meeting took place a week before Bill Gates retired from Microsoft, and

the topic was open source software.

 

It was the summer of 2008, and for years, the open source community had

viewed Microsoft as public enemy number one. Seven years earlier, CEO Steve

Ballmer had referred to Linux as a “malignant

cancer,” and as recently as the previous summer, Microsoft general counsel

Brad Smith and licensing chief Horacio Gutierrez had told

Fortune Magazine that Linux violated 235 of its patents, implying

that it would soon demand royalties from any big business using the open source

OS.

 

But at the same time, Microsoft realized how powerful the free software

movement could be, and the company was exploring ways it could make nice with

the ever-growing community of developers who used open source. For two years,

Sam Ramji had served as head of open source strategy at Microsoft, and every

three months, he met with Bill Gates and other execs to show off various open

source technologies put together by a small team of Microsoft engineers.

But that afternoon was different. At the invitation of the company’s chief

legal minds — Smith and Gutierrez — Ramji sat down with Gates, chief software

architect Ray Ozzie, and a few others to discuss whether Microsoft could

actually start using open source software. Ramji and Ozzie were on one side of

the argument, insisting that Microsoft embrace open source, and Gutierrez

offered a legal framework that could make that possible. But other top

executives strongly challenged the idea.

 

Then Bill Gates stood up......http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/01/meet-bill-gates/

 

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