Geek

Richard Stallman Went To Microsoft’s Office — Here’s What Happened

Renowned computer programmer and free software advocate Richard Stallman was invited by Microsoft to give a talk to its employees at MS Research.

While it was surprising for many, it wasn’t totally unexpected considering Microsoft’s recent love for open-source.

The news was confirmed by Azure CTO Mark Russinovich who retweeted the post of Ale(ssandro) Segala. It was picked up by ZDNet’s Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley.

Anyway, while speaking at Microsoft Research, Stallman delivered a “mostly standard talk” and discussed various topics including GPL v3, GNU Vs Linux, etc., according to a Microsoft engineer Pedro Paulo who attended the talk.

Stallman also had his wishlist for Microsoft which includes making “GitHub push users to better software license hygiene, make hardware manufacturers to publish their hardware specs, make it easier to workaround Secure Boot,” Paulo added in his tweet.

The GNU-creator has been a long-time Microsoft critic because the Windows-maker didn’t align with his idea of free software. Back in the day, Microsoft was rather infamous for its ruthless business practices.

Walking into the big tech’s office doesn’t mean that Stallman has going to become Microsoft’s new BFF. His website still reflects his keen interest in trying to point out “Reasons not to use Microsoft.”

Microsoft supposedly had a change of heart after Satya Nadella stepped-in as the CEO. It brought the Linux kernel to Windows 10 and open-sourced many famous proprietary Microsoft-made software including big parts of .NET and more recently the exFAT file system.

Still, there are many people who are reluctant to change their perception of the company. Maybe, this will be their stance until the day Microsoft open-sources Windows.

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