Technology "Microsoft was on the wrong side of history"

“Microsoft was on the wrong side of history”

Updated 19.05.2020 at 07:34

Open source

Brad Smith, president of the American computer giant, admitted that his firm was wrong about open source.

Brad Smith, 61, president of Microsoft.

KEYSTONE

It also happens to Microsoft to make its mea culpa. In an interview granted by videoconference to the computer and artificial intelligence laboratory (CSAIL) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the president of the Redmond company since 2015 admitted that Microsoft had got it all wrong with open source , namely open source software.

Microsoft was on the wrong side of history when open source exploded at the turn of the century, and I can say that about myself.

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft

We remember that at the time, Microsoft was one of the most fervent critics of open source and the Linux kernel. As proof of this, the famous 2001 declaration by Steve Ballmer, then boss of the firm: “Linux is a cancer which, in the sense of intellectual property, attaches itself to everything it touches”.

But things have since changed. Microsoft, owner since 2018 of the source code sharing platform GitHub, is “today […] the largest contributor to open source projects in the world for businesses, “said the director. The famous company founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975 has also integrated a full version of the Linux kernel into Windows 10 for developers. Earlier this year, Microsoft also adopted open source Chromium software for its Edge web browser.

“The good news is that if life is long enough you can learn … that you have to change,” added Brad Smith.

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