Microsoft's Bill Hilf says Linux doesn't exist any more

, posted: 15-May-2007 16:49

Bill HilfMicrosoft has fired new shots in its war of attrition against the Open Source Movement, the latest being Bill Hilf declaring that Linux is dead:
"They are full-time employees, with 401K stock options. Some work for IBM or Oracle. What does that mean? It means that Linux doesn't exist any more in 2007. There is no free software movement. If someone says Linux is about Love, Peace and Harmony, I would tell them to do their research. There is no free software movement any more. There is big commercial [firms] like IBM and there is small commercial [firms] like Ubuntu," he said.

Now that's the kind of statement that vaporises Hilf's credibility as some sort of Microsoft-Open Source mediator completely. I have thought about the same sort of thing, like when I interviewed Bdale Garbee who works for Hewlett-Packard. That interview got chopped down quite hard, but I asked Garbee if working for a big corporation like H-P didn't get in the way of Open Source ideals.

Garbee's response was that it didn't, simply because it wasn't in H-P's interest to get in the way of how Open Source works. That's a pragmatic business decision by H-P and why not? They seem to be doing well with Open Source.

Hilf needs to work on his FUD-slinging as well. The hippie Love, Peace and Harmony is hardly what Open Source is about in 2007, thank goodness.

If by the above Hilf is referring to Novell, which did a deal with Microsoft, well then... that's a different matter. It's entirely possible for an open source supporter to go rogue and and lose its bearings.

My suspicion is that Hilf and Co are softening up public opinion ahead of Microsoft's patent onslaught on Open Source. Obviously, if it's all just big and small commercial firms, then shaking them down for patent royalties becomes much more palatable.

Either way, this is a toe-reducing move by Microsoft's strategists. The SCO débâcle showed that there's little support for legal dirty tricks like using dubious patent claims, and governments around the world may step in to cut Microsoft down in size if it goes down this route.

Other related posts:
Fighting with Windows 8
The Windows Phone 7.5 bouncing tiles bug
Windows Live Essentials betas seem good, but oh so flaky

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