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Bill Gates at Microsoft: Free and commercial software working ‘very well’ together

gatesfacultyREDMOND — Listed below are 5 phrases you’d by no means anticipate to return out of Bill Gates’ mouth: “Thank God at no cost software.”

That was a snippet from the Microsoft chairman’s reply to a query about mental property and software improvement throughout the keynote dialog at the Microsoft Analysis School Summit a short while in the past. However earlier than you suppose Gates has utterly modified his tune, the broader context is way more nuanced.

The query was concerning the conflicts that Gates sees between commercial and open-source software in his work with the Gates Basis, and his ideas on the position of mental property within the broader world.

In actuality, Gates mentioned, there isn’t as a lot battle as folks would possibly suppose.

“Thank God for commercial software,” he mentioned. “It truly funds salaries, provides folks jobs, horrible stuff like that. And thank God at no cost software. Free software lets folks will get issues on the market you could mess around and construct on. However the two work very effectively in a pleasant frequent ecosystem.”

With reference to patents and mental property, Gates pointed to the best way the system permits drug and seed firms to unfold their innovations whereas nonetheless defending them, enabling them to accomplice with teams just like the Gates Basis in tasks around the globe.

“It’s a fancy system,” he mentioned. “Anyone who thinks eliminating it will make the world higher off, I can inform you that’s loopy.”

The discuss by Gates has spanned a variety of matters, together with robotics, schooling, and the way forward for computing.

With reference to synthetic intelligence, and the evolution of know-how as a private assistant, he joked concerning the ill-fated Microsoft Bob, getting laugher from the group as he mentioned that sort of know-how “will re-emerge, maybe with a bit extra sophistication.”

“We had been simply forward of our time — like most of our errors,” he mentioned.

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