Bill Gates embraces rivals, Linux

It's not often that Bill Gates is associated with the free Linux computer operating system, Netscape's Web browser or royalty-free software, but on Wednesday he embraced all three.

Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., sat through a computer demonstration running on Linux -- a competitor to Microsoft's Windows -- and the Netscape browser, a rival product that all but disappeared because of giveaways of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. Gates attended a technical briefing in Manhattan, where Microsoft and software rival IBM Corp. touted so-called Web services, software aimed at streamlining Internet transactions.

Partnering with IBM

Gates and IBM executive vice president Steve Mills said their companies' three-year collaboration had developed tools that will let computers conduct secure transactions whether they run Microsoft's Windows platform or others, such as IBM's WebSphere or the open-source Linux system that is given away. "We're being as inclusive as we can," Gates said of Microsoft's role in the cross-platform project. "This is a fabric for someone to do e-commerce that's independent of the operating systems that are out there."

News source: CNN

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