Linux leaders plot counterattack on Microsoft

This is from an article recently posted to Reuters about the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit:

Dressed in the alternative software movement’s casual uniform of T-shirts and jeans, the group is coming to grips with internal divisions that sap at its success — Linux is now used to power desktop computers, major Web sites, mobile phones — since rival factions often create very similar products.

But as many of the world’s top tech companies and corporate customers demand ever more from Linux, open source devotees still fight among themselves with the fervor of a tiny monastic order seeking to root out theological error in their midst.

“Guys: Be seekers of truth, not finders of contradiction,” Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, organizer of the event, only half-jokingly told the 150 attendees of what is billed their “Collaboration Summit.”

Collectively, the group is militantly opposed to Microsoft, which some attending the summit openly refer to as “the enemy.”

The thing I really don’t like about the article is the headline. It’s an attention grabber, meant to pull in readers. But, the fact is that nothing could be further from the truth. Having attended the event I can say the the subject of Microsoft was barely even broached. In fact, one of the panels included some of the best Open Source lawyers on the planet. The likes of Andrew Updegrove, Karen Copenhaver and Mark Radcliffe. The audience could ask this ridiculously prodigious group any questions they wanted. The recent Microsoft patent deals were not brought up a single time to my recollection. This summit was about how to better work together within our community, how to collaborate with each others in ways that make sense, how to improve freedom and how to build the absolute best products and services in the world. That’s a change from some events in the past, where it was about Microsoft. It’s good to see we’ve moved on to more important things. Yes, some people do disagree on some things. We’re able to rationally discuss those points as a community though, and through it all that makes us stronger. If 100% of the people in your organization agree on everything, you’re either not doing anything interesting or people are just scared to speak up. Both are bad.

–jeremy

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