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Linuxcare challenges MS to open Windows source

In desperate and somewhat strained bid for publicity

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In a pretty blatant, partial and even desperate piece of bandwagon-jumping, Linux services outfit Linuxcare has challenged Microsoft "to deliver its Windows code to the open-source community." Linuxcare yesterday "pledged worldwide support for... Windows as open-source software code - if Microsoft is willing to make good on statements attributed to Bill Gates" last week. As a services operation you'd certainly expect Linuxcare to support an open source Windows, and yes, that probably is drooling you can hear. "Linuxcare is ready to support Windows as true open-source software," says executive VP and co-founder Arthur Tyde. "We recognise that it would be a massive undertaking to wade through 35 million lines of code [more drooling], but we are up to the challenge if Microsoft decides to take its chairman's comments seriously." But while this might make a nice quick-and-dirty press release for Linuxcare, there are just a few little obstacles along the way. The Billblurt last week wasn't made on tape, and although the Bloomberg people who'd just done a taped interview with him insisted he's really said it, Bill's non-taped "statements" appear at most to have consisted of "yes" to the question: Would Microsoft be willing to open the Windows source code in order to settle the case. Opening Windows source code is slightly different from open-sourcing Windows, even if it was yes that Bill said, and not just "Erk!" Then there's the matter of Microsoft's PR people bouncing out minutes later and insisting he'd said nothing of the kind. And then there's the question of whether the Linux people would clutch Windows firmly to their bosom, if it was open-sourced. Still, you've got to admit Linuxcare knows an opportunity for a PR stunt when it sees one... See also: Gates paves way for opening up Windows source

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