Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

From code war to Cold War


>From code war to Cold War

A new cold war has broken out in the software world, technology analyst Bill Thompson believes, and it will shape our futures.

Things are getting serious over in the US, where two mighty forces are fighting for a position of control over the daily lives of millions of people.

Statue of Lenin, AP Open code is not communism The battle is not for the presidency, although the antics of George Bush and John Kerry are obviously of some importance to the rest of the world, but for the ability to shape the way we design, build and use computer software.

It is the conflict between two different ideologies of software development.

One is personified by Microsoft and its closed and copyright- protected code, and the other represented by the free software and open source movements, whose most prominent offering is the GNU/Linux operating system.

And it has become a new Cold War, a fight between competing philosophies which underpin completely divergent economic systems and patterns of social organisation.

Given the growing importance of computer programs in our daily lives and the operation of business. It could well be the defining conflict of the first half of this century, just as the conflict between communism and capitalism defined the latter half of the last one.




Linux & Microsoft as a Cold War?

Posted by CmdrTaco on Sunday March 07, @09:56AM from the now-thats-serious-flamebait-1 dept.

I confirm writes "The BBC's Bill Thompson summarises the GNU/Linux vs. Microsoft struggle as a "cold war", and in one choice quote says:"It is rather ironic that Microsoft and other closed model companies rather resemble the Stalinist or Maoist model of a command economy with complete centralised control." I'm not sure I accept Thompson's conclusions, however: "So now would be a good time to start thinking about how we persuade governments that market in software may eventually need to be regulated, just as the market in electricity, water and food is, and that that regulation may well include a statutory duty to disclose source code and allow it to be used elsewhere."