November 12, 2001

Weekly news wrap-up: Gates takes credit for Open Source movement

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

Microsoft's Bill Gates has claimed credit for a lot of things in his day, a couple of which his company may have actually invented, rather than embraced and extended. But it's hard to imagine that Gates could actually say, with a straight face, that Microsoft is responsible for creating the Open Source movement. Well, that's what happened this week.

In response to a question at a shareholders meeting, the chief monopolist claimed that Microsoft made the Open Source movement possible by standardizing computers. There are a lot of flaws in that logic, one being if Gates helped create Open Source, why does he hate it and fear it so?

There were a couple of quick responses to Gates. The Register did a pretty good job of deconstructing his argument by pointing out that PC makers, not Microsoft, standardized the computer. Open Source advocate Eric S. Raymond compared Gates' claim to Osama bin Laden taking credit for helping to beef up airport security.

In other Microsoft news, its IIS server tops the list of Internet security problems in a "most wanted" list released by the FBI and SANS Institute. Gee, Mr. Gates, might we suggest an Open Source alternative?

Actually, NewsForge's Robin "roblimo" Miller reports that commercial Apache provider Covalent has found a way to get around the famed IIS security problems: Hide your IIS servers behind the Open Source alternative Apache.

Small Linux crowd gathers

The fifth Annual Linux Showcase and Conference was happening in Oakland, Calif., this weekend. Like the last LinuxWorld Expo, ALS seemed to suffer from small crowds this year. Is it the general economy, the Linux-related economy or travel jitters after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks? Probably a bit of all three.

New and cool

This week, the crew working on the Evolution GNOME groupware suite announced Release Candidate 1 to much acclaim.

Speaking of GNOME, this week was the deadline for announcing a candidacy for the GNOME Foundation board of directors. The announcements started slowly, but picked up steam after Linux kernel hacker Alan Cox announced a candidacy, at least for a short time. Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman also threw his hat into the ring.

New in NewsForge

Stories that appeared first in NewsForge this week:

NewsForge interviewed Cox about his future and the future of Linux after the long-time kernel hacker announced recently he was stepping aside from the maintenance of the 2.4 kernel.

Tina Gasperson reports that InterSect Alliance has developed the first C2-style auditing and event logging subsystem for Linux. These security features could attract more businesses to Linux.

Business columnist Jack Bryar comments on the proposed Microsoft antitrust settlement, and says that if the U.S. government doesn't restrain the software monopoly other forces, including customers, just might.

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