Bonum Certa Men Certa

The End of Windows and the Arrival of GPLv3

Things are looking great for Linux. Development pace is peaking everywhere, except Redmond.

Among some of the newest articles (e.g. one that heralds the arrival of Linux to many people's desktops), there are several which talk about the deals and explain why these simply indicate that Microsoft needs to be part of the future, with or without Windows. Consider the following analysis from Linux Watch. It discusses the recent deals and closes with the following couple of paragraphs.

Red Hat's wonderful Truth Happens video ends with the famous Mohandas Gandhi quote, "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win." It's exactly right.

To me, the Linux/Microsoft deals not only make sense, they show that we are in the last stage. Linux is winning, and Microsoft is acknowledging it. After all, if Microsoft didn't have to deal with Linux as something like an equal, why would they bother to make agreements at all?

These feelings are echoed elsewhere as well. They would seem overly optimistic to some, but ambition has its merits. Either way, things do not look too encouraging for the company which, according to another source, is bound to lose its grip on a world of Windows. It tries to get a grip on the next best thing, which is Linux. Have a quick look at this short article/op-ed.

Some of the best analysis of the Microsoft/Linspire deal was written by Dennis Byron (Research 2.0) Should this deal eventually involve vouchers like the Novell deal, he says, what we might be looking at is Microsoft’s graceful exit from Windows (well, maybe not graceful and maybe not without milking it for a good decade, a la IBM and its mainframes).

What will happen with IP? Well, Microsoft 'taxation' on Linux sales is something which is bound to fail, simply because GPLv3 prohibits it. It works around the issues and its wide adoption seems like a matter of time, not viability. Have a look at what Bruce Byfield had to say.

In the longer term -- say the next five years -- GPLv3 will probably win out through attrition. If nothing else, as the discussion on TiVoization makes clear, the FSF cares strongly about the issues behind the provisions in the new version of the license while those who think like Torvalds, for all the animation with which he expresses himself, care relatively little. In the end, they would rather be coding. As more projects move to GPLv3, open source advocates will probably move with the rest of the community.

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