No soft touches from that guy. No reconsiderations. He is going to go to his grave with those words on his lips, so we might as well get the headstone ready. But he will certainly be having a team look over the Linux code to see what can become Microsoft.
At a celebratory dinner for the top 5 Linux developers, Linus Torvalds declared that the kernel would soon be changing to the BSD license, and away from GLPLv2, so that many developers could do more with the already developed code.
“There are a host of corporations out there, all of them desperately trying to take advantage of the good code we have created,” Torvalds said, referring to the kernel team. “And they are all hampered by the licence under which we have released the kernel.”
He said a secret summit of kernel developers, held in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, had voted unanimously to change the licence from the GPLv2 to the BSD licence which meant that anyone could use code from the kernel in proprietary software and lock it away from public view forever.
It is not certain what total effect this will have in coming years, but in the short term, it will make people like Larry Ellison very happy. According to the story from where the above quote originates, Mr. Ellison refused comment but was making sounds of glee as the receiver was being placed on the hook.
The head of Novell (yes, they’re still kicking, as of this moment…) commented that this would change everything, and no doubt it will, if Novell programmers are around long enough to do anything with it.
Also heard was Larry Page, stating that since they never did any evil, it won’t matter to Google. That is the very first time I’ve ever seen any quote that gave me a moment of pause about Google. I certainly hope he was misquoted.
The chief of the Free Software Foundation was rather calm, stating that in his opinion this was another publicity stunt, akin to when the Linux Foundation used Paris Hilton to promote something. (That is something I missed entirely – had I seen it and not known better, I would probably have stayed away from Linux for that very reason.)
Ballmer, when asked about his thoughts stated that since Linux was cancer, it certainly would not do much for them either way. I can only imagine that he was immediately on the phone to R&D, telling them to immediately begin to see what goodies they could soon appropriate, and then claim as their own forever.
Those aware of the early development of Windows are aware that the TCP/IP stack was totally lifted, from the BSD versions of the time, when Windows 95 needed one. (Those remembering doing any internet work with Windows 3.1 or higher know that one had to look outside of Microsoft for a TCP/IP solution. There was a popular one at the time, called Trumpet Winsock, used by many, including myself.)
We can only imagine what might accidentally fall into the code mix for Windows 8 now – it might actually have something new, different, and very useful. They are going to have to hurry however, because at the snail’s pace that Microsoft develops, it will soon be time to close the code to any new changes for the next version of Windows.