SYDNEY, Australia--Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill
Gates has labeled bootlegged software a greater threat to his company than
"You know what my toughest competitor is?" Gates asked reporters at a media
briefing here Monday. "It's
pirated software...If you really look around, you'll find way more pirated
Windows than you'll find open-source software. Way more."
Gates said Microsoft's software represented a "dramatically higher, better
choice than anything you'll get in the open-source realm. It's true the press
has taken a few design wins and said, 'Hey, look at that.' And you know, that's
great; it's almost helpful to us to have a few of those, where people try that
"(They) see that being their own systems integrator--they say, 'OK, I've got
this, how do I get the Active Directory? How do I get the software update piece?
How do I get the different applications?' And they see...various things about
the intellectual-property challenge that'll come into that."
Gates made his remarks as part of a whirlwind trip to Australia, during which
he was scheduled to meet with Australian Prime Minister John
According to research conducted for CNET Networks Australia at the start of
2004, corporate information technology users were forecasting a healthy future
for popular open-source variant Linux on the desktop, with more than
three-fourths of respondents saying it will get a little or a lot stronger.
The research, which secured almost 600 responses from Australia and New
Zealand, also found strong support for Linux' future as a server operating
system, with 56.5 percent of respondents saying the open-source software would
grow stronger and 32.3 percent saying it would grow much stronger.
Windows XP (68.9 percent) and other versions of Windows (62.4 percent) were
the only operating systems used at least daily, on average, by a majority of the
Iain Ferguson of ZDNet
Australia reported from Sydney.