Microsoft and Linux milestones

A look at some of the milestones in Microsoft's antagonistic relationship with Linux.

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Microsoft has made an historic move by submitting device drivers to the Linux kernel under a GPLv2 license.

Microsoft has had a chequered past with both Linux and its open source GPL licensing structure, so the move was a jaw dropper.

Here is a look at some of the milestones since Microsoft internal memos leaked in 1998 that attacked the open source Linux operating system as it began to pick up steam as an alternative to Windows.

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1998

Internal Microsoft "Halloween memos" attacking Linux leak out. These are two rather long documents purportedly prepared by Microsoft employees evaluating the risk factors of Linux to Microsoft's operating systems.

2001

May - Craig Mundie, Microsoft senior vice president, says the GPL poses a threat to the intellectual property of any organization making use of it. 

June - CEO Steve Ballmer one-ups Mundie, calling Linux a "cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works."

2002

May - Then-Microsoft chairman Bill Gates equates the GPL to anti-capitalism at a Government Leaders' Conference in Seattle.

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