Forwarded from Nestor (on Linux)

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Thu Aug 3 13:31:31 MDT 2000

Here is the original Ballmer quote on communism and Linux:

Linux we haven't talked about much today. But I do want to emphasize the
competitive threat, and in some senses the competitive opportunity that
Linux represents. Linux is a tough competitor. There's no company called
Linux, there's barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs
organically from the earth. And it had, you know, the characteristics of
communism that people love so very, very much about it. That is, it's free.
And I'm not trying to make fun of it, because it's a real competitive issue.
Today, I would say, we still don't see a lot of Linux competition in most
quarters on the desktop, and we see a lot of Linux competition in some
server markets. And we could either say, hey, Linux is going to roll over
the world, but I don't see that happening. That's not what's going on right

The full text one might get at:

The only interesting information is the occasion of the speech: 2000
Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting. So its obvious what the intention is:
One capitalist wants to associate a commercial competitor with what he
thinks his audience will see as the Empire of Evil: Communism.

Thats more or less the same atitude as to equate anything to the left of
George Bush with communism.

We should not take Ballmers PR for real. Actually two groups of capitalists
are fighting who gets what share of the profit cake. Its basically the same
as Napster vs. RIAA. BTW you can find the worse types of libertarians among
the 'Linux community'. Ever read 'The bazaar and the catedral'?


More information about the Marxism mailing list