Red Hat - producent van Linux-distributies - daagt Microsoft uit om het debat omtrent open-source software aan te gaan, zo meldt Wired News vandaag.
Aanleiding hiertoe zijn de uitlatingen die MS-topman Jim Allchin onlangs deed ten aanzien van de open-source community. Allchin noemde open-source toen een 'gevaar voor het intellectueel eigendom' en 'on-Amerikaans'. En dat is bij een hoop mensen in het verkeerde keelgat geschoten. Microsoft reageerde daarop overigens al vrij snel door te melden dat Allchin 'verkeerd begrepen' zou zijn, en dat MS zich met name zorgen maakt over de GNU General Public License.
"I think it's time to take the debate up a notch or two," Szulik said in a telephone interview. "Red Hat, as a representative of the open-source community, would love to have an opportunity to provide a counter-argument to (Microsoft's) claims to the U.S. Senate. We'd love to bring the brightest minds in the open-source community -- both within and outside of Red Hat -- to the U.S. Senate."
"I'm an American, I believe in the American Way," Allchin told the Bloomberg wire service earlier this month. "I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat."
Replies Red Hat's Szulik: "For a man that informed to come out with a statement such as 'Un-American,' I found that to be ludicrous. The whole activity surrounding free software and open source is to accelerate innovation."
Some U.S. government agencies have started to use Linux as their operating system of choice -- the military seems to like it and the National Security Agency is experimenting with a security-enhanced version of Linux. And if Red Hat ever does testify, the firm may have a friend in Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the head of the Senate Judiciary committee who has held critical hearings in the past about Microsoft.
But the once-indomitable Microsoft also has become suddenly vulnerable, thanks to a confluence of events that include a federal judge's breakup order, a softening PC market, a steep decline in its market capitalization -- and the gradual spread of software released under an open-source or GNU General Public License (GNU GPL).