Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Ballmer, Bemused

Filed under
Interviews

Fans of the popular Linux software program have long fretted that software giant Microsoft will attack Linux by claiming the free program violates Microsoft's patents.

So far nothing has happened. But in an interview with Forbes.com, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer wouldn't rule out such a showdown. Ballmer also explains why Microsoft, which on Thursday announced a sweeping reorganization of its Windows division, is less freaked out by free programs than it was a few years ago.

Forbes.com: Right now, I can go out and get a free alternative to just about every product Microsoft sells. Why do people keep paying you for something they could get free?

Ballmer: One, people value their time. Our stuff does more, and they like that. Two, people value their time, and those [free] things tend to be clunky. Let's say you think you can save $50. And then you go and waste three hours. You tell me how quick that payback is. You can sketch that out at the enterprise level as much as you can at the individual end-user level. So people value their time, and people value their capability. Frankly, people value not only the compatibility our stuff has with itself, but they value the add-ons and the third-party customization that people have done. As long as we keep pushing the pace of innovation and delivering that value, I think we have a great opportunity.

You've seen it in the marketplace. Some people, especially business customers, want some kind of corporate entity standing behind these things.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Debian-Based Distribution Updated With KDE 3.5 Forked Desktop

Q4OS 1.2 "Orion" is the new release that is re-based on Debian Jessie, focused on shipping its own desktop utilities and customizations, and designed to run on both old and new hardware. Read more

Atom Shell is now Electron

Atom Shell is now called Electron. You can learn more about Electron and what people are building with it at its new home electron.atom.io. Read more Also: C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

A Fedora 22 beta walk-through

The new Fedora, with its GNOME 3.16 interface, is an interesting, powerful Linux desktop. Read more Also: Web software center for Fedora Red Hat's Cross-Selling and Product Development Will Power Long-Term Growth Red Hat Updates Open Source Developer and Admin Tools

Unix and Personal Computers: Reinterpreting the Origins of Linux

So, to sum up: What Linus Torvalds, along with plenty of other hackers in the 1980s and early 1990s, wanted was a Unix-like operating system that was free to use on the affordable personal computers they owned. Access to source code was not the issue, because that was already available—through platforms such as Minix or, if they really had cash to shell out, by obtaining a source license for AT&T Unix. Therefore, the notion that early Linux programmers were motivated primarily by the ideology that software source code should be open because that is a better way to write it, or because it is simply the right thing to do, is false. Read more Also: Anti-Systemd People