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Microsoft Ads on FOSS Sites

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Microsoft
OSS
Web

Quite a few years ago, a popular Linux site began displaying ads from Microsoft on their home page. Big ones, at a prominent location above the fold. Some were fancy Flash ads, attention getters, mainly for branding purposes. Others were FUD, “independent” TCO studies bought and paid for by Redmond that “proved” it was cheaper to hand MS a wheelbarrow of money to run a Windows server than to run a free Linux server.

The first time I saw a Windows ad on this FOSS site, I chuckled. I figured that if I ran a FOSS site and Microsoft came to me and offered multiple thousands of dollars for a medium rectangle ad, I’d be more than happy to redesign my page to accommodate them. You see, I believe the First Amendment’s a two way street, that if I expect free speech for myself, I have to be willing to give it to others.

I understood the griping by many of the users of the site, but I figured they were missing the point.

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