Proprietary Software Can't Control the World
Source: TechNewsWorld - Posted by Pax Dickinson   
Security Jurgen Geck held what looked like a silver bullet between his thumb and index finger. "This is a Fisher Space Pen," he said -- a pen developed for NASA astronauts in space, a pen with ink that just keeps on flowing. A pen able to write upside down and even underwater.

"It's sophisticated, it's costly, it's very nice and very shiny," Geck said. Geck is chief technology officer at SuSE Linux, an open-source software outfit now owned by Novell, and he's about to make his point: "The Russians just used a pencil."

Simplicity itself. Proprietary software like Microsoft's is the shiny, expensive alternative; the open-source software Linux is the obvious simple solution, according to Geck, who added: "The pencil never would have made it in a closed-source environment."

To which Microsoft's general manager for platform strategy, Martin Taylor, groused: "You can't use a pencil underwater. I guarantee you that."

The panel, "Software Strategics: Proprietary vs. Open Source," started out congenially, even though the stakes are high in the fight between Linux and Microsoft. The Linux operating system and Apache servers, both open source, have gained market share, slowly eroding Microsoft's piece of the pie. IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and other giants are fighting Microsoft, in part, by leveraging Linux and other open source software.

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