November 25, 2003

Princeton open-source hater a loose cannon

By now most of us are acquainted with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's recent PR rant at the Gartner Fall Symposium in Orlando, where he dismissed
open-source developers as a lot of teenage hobbyists with questionable motives.

"The vulnerabilities are there [in open source software]. The fact that somebody in the middle of the night in China who you don't know, quote,
'patched' it and you don't know the quality of that. I mean, there's nothing per se that says there should be integrity that comes out of that
process. At the end of the day, it's people who write software. We have a methodology; we have an approach; we have a testing process that we know can
lead to a sustained and predictable level of quality."

Ballmer also tried to impugn Linux's security, throwing a few numbers carelessly about at the conference: "In the first 150 days of Windows 2000 we
had seventeen critical vulnerabilities... The first 150 days of Red Hat 6 -- go check the number, just go check the number. It's five to ten times
higher than what we are showing," he trilled.



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