November 19, 2003

Why Linux Is Wealthier Than Microsoft

Sometimes I suspect Bill Gates doesn't sleep so well at night. Not out of any guilt over his billions or the alleged mediocrity of his product. No, I
wonder whether he might actually worry about the competition. Not Apple (though that iPod MP3 player is a killer toy, and I'm cheerfully typing these
words on an Apple PowerBook G4). No, I'll bet Linux and its creator, Linus Torvalds, cross Gates's mind when he's looking up at the ceiling
late at night.

On the surface, Linus vs. Bill seems to be the ultimate David vs. Goliath contest. It appears to pit the man who cheerfully gives away his code
against the guy who ruthlessly seeks every last penny for it. You'd expect Gates would squash Torvalds. Yet they have more in common than you might
think. And the final score in their high-stakes rivalry could end up surprisingly close.



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