25 March 2008

How Sad is That, Microsoft?

According to a report published on Thursday by technology newswire Tectonic, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, the minister of public service and administration, told the Idlelo conference in Dakar, Senegal, that free software and open standards were intended to encourage competition, while patents were exclusive and anti-competitive by their nature.

"Whereas there are some industries where the temporary monopoly granted by a patent may be justified … there's no reason to believe that society benefits from such monopolies being granted for computer programs [and inventions]," she said in a pre-recorded speech delivered at the conference.

Right on, sister - glad to see that intellectual monopoly meme. But, wait, what do we have here? Why, Microsoft's response to this idea, exposing its very own Weltanschauung:

But Paulo Ferreira, the platform strategy manager at Microsoft South Africa, said: "There is no such thing as free software. Nobody develops software for charity."

He added: "For innovation to continue, there needs to be value - and even open-source applications have some form of market model, which incentivises them to continue innovating."

So there we have it: Microsoft's world, there is no such thing as disinterested generosity, no such thing as altruism. Which means, of course, that Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds and Tim Berners-Lee - to name but a few of those so-called "altruists" - are, in Microsoft's opinion, nothing but liars or utterly self-deluded....

What a sad, cold, lonely little circle of hell Microsoft inhabits.

8 comments:

nmather said...

Besides which, they seem to be willfully only aware of 'free as in beer' software. To suggest no 'free as in speech' software exists is just deluded! Try sf.net, Paulo.

Anonymous said...

As you wrote in Rebel Code, this is how Gates started out in the '70s, hating on open source from the start.

By the way, I haven't thanked you for that book, which is the best account of the fifteen busiest and productive years in tech. I bought a new copy and am rereading it this week and am stunned by how timely its arguments are today. So thank you, Glyn, for all the hard work you put into that book. Your writing has both clarity and suspense and once you pick it up, it's damn near impossible to put it down.

glyn moody said...

Thanks for the kind words. It seems so long ago now....

Anonymous said...

Could we send him a food parcel? Us Oxes must stick together.p

andy said...

M$ say "There is no such thing as free software." yes there is - free as in use, not as in beer (as Stallman makes perfectly clear). What a very silly thing to say.

glyn moody said...

Indeed.

David Mounce said...

Altruism lives, Glyn. I cite the LibriVox site as my latest example.

http://librivox.org/

glyn moody said...

Librivox is cool.