Cyber View; March 1999; Scientific American Magazine; by Wallich; 1 Page(s)
In a courtroom in Washington, D.C., software giant Microsoft stands accused of attempting to dominate access to the Internet by means of software so proprietary and closely held that the company itself claims to be unable to locate some of the original source code. Meanwhile the software that actually runs the Internet-deciding what destinations packets should go to, transferring email, serving up World Wide Web pages-is free and open to all. Not only can you download the programs for nothing, but you can also read the source code, make changes and even distribute your modified version for others to use.
Microsoft, Netscape Communications and others have tried to make inroads into the market for under-the-hood Internet software, but their success has been nowhere near complete. The free Apache Web server, for example, still accounts for more installations than all other server packages combined, and its market share is growing. Some advocates predict that open-source programs will eventually dominate the entire software market.