Gentoo – Now with More Irony

By on June 13, 2005

Daniel Robbins, the founder of my beloved Gentoo Linux, bowed out of the Gentoo community last year, setting up a non-profit organization to responsibly manage Gentoo and all of the intellectual property that surrounds it. He, along with others, created a very popular Linux distribution that provides unique benefits over the other offerings that are available. Unfortunately, open-source alone wasn’t paying the bills, and Daniel had to find other work.

Mr. Robbins began his new job late last month. With Microsoft:

Gentoo founder and former Gentoo Chief Architect Daniel Robbins began a new position at Microsoft on 23 May 2005. According to drobbins: “I’m helping Microsoft to understand Open Source and community-based projects.” While in the midst of hastily packing to move to Redmond, [Robbins] nonetheless managed to find the time to finalize the transfer of Gentoo’s intellectual property (essentially copyrights on ebuilds and other software as well as soon-to-be trademarked Gentoo logos) to the not-for-profit Gentoo Foundation, Inc.

Best of luck to him, but it strikes me that without Gentoo, I might not have gotten rid of most of the Microsoft products that I owned. I just hope that “helping Microsoft understand open source” doesn’t mean “unwittingly helping Microsoft understand how to get rid of the ‘open source problem’”.



  1. There was an interesting note over at WindowsITPro last week. The proliferation of Linux distro’s just confuses most people.

    Desktop Linux Falters as Linux Use Shrinks for First Time We’re starting to see some interesting Linux trends this year, and for the first time they aren’t positive. In the past, I’ve lampooned all the “this is the year of desktop Linux” reports, which showed up like clockwork every 12 months. January 2005 was a little different. For the first time, few analysts touted the year of Linux on the desktop. And now I think we’re seeing why: Linux, everyone’s favorite open-source poster child, isn’t exactly doing well on the desktop … or the server, for that matter. In fact, Linux is starting to look a bit like that killer bees invasion that was going to strike North America but never really happened. The proof? For the first time, Linux adoption in corporations has fallen year over year. Mind you, Linux adoption hasn’t just slowed. It’s fallen by half. There will always be a market for free products, but the notion that Linux will magically replace Windows on the desktop is suddenly looking a bit silly.

  2. A windows based site telling people that Linux is on the downfall? Hmmmmm, where have I heard this before?????

    Oh yeah, and we even have a name for it: FUD. ;-)

  3. I have heard the argument before that Linux has multiple distributions, which can be confusing. I understand that this might drive some folks back to Windows XP Home. Or XP Pro. Or XP Lite Edition. Or Tablet Edition. Or Media Center Edition. Or Pro x64 Edition. Or Windows Server 2003. Or Small Business Server 2003. Or maybe that XP in Europe that’s XP but without Windows Media.

    I mean, who would want all those different distributions? ;-)

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