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Linux Foundation director takes a swipe at Microsoft

Blue screen of death
Thu Aug 18 2011, 15:46

LINUX FOUNDATION executive director Jim Zemlin took a swipe at Microsoft during his keynote speech at Linuxcon in Vancouver, BC yesterday by showing its "blue screen of death".

To address the question, "what would the world look like without Linux?", Zemlin started with a blue screen and then a Windows XP boot screen, then a boot screen again, simulating what the world would be like if it still ran only on Windows. He said, "This is gonna be about 20 minutes."

He added that, seriously, the world would be "black and white, stocks would stop trading, trains would stop running and movie special effects would be terrible," because these are all services and infrastructure that depend upon Linux.

What would the world be like without Linux? For some diehards at The INQUIRER towers, it would be a better place.

For others, however, a world without Linux would be one where they were forced to use Windows or else resort to Apple's Mac OS X or even IBM's abandoned OS/2. Not good.

Zemlin also showed a video contributed by Microsoft for the 20th anniversary, noting that Microsoft is still fearful of and antagonising Linux.

He said it would be very helpful if Microsoft would "stop suing everybody", if it really wants to get along. The subtext here, we think, was that Microsoft can't compete with Linux anymore, so it files lawsuits instead.

The world would also be a worse place without Linux, said Zemlin, because it powers Amazon and Facebook. Another downside would be the small matter of an apocalyptic disaster. "The world might come to an end with unreliable software powering nuclear submarines," he said.

Zemlin talked about some of the resistance that Linux has faced over the years, including Bill Gates' attacks on the GPL and SCO's attempts to take down Linux through litigation. SCO, said Zemlin, did eventually have its day in court. "Bankruptcy court", that is, he noted. µ


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