Maybe this could've gone in GCC or Cosmos but here goes... a thought that I was pondering on reading through the numerous /. articles regarding Linux and Windows mainly, but anything goes really.

How many of you believe that without the Microsoft domination and, in general, closed-source/proprietary things the movement of the Linux community [in terms of OS, but opensource at large] would be less intense [and by that I try to encompass both passion and tempo]?

It seems to me that Linux is a movement that started out counter to proprietary ideologies and is fueled by its desire to propagate and realize Linus' plan of "world domination" while all the while countering those 'evil' ideologies. Without something to react to, I suppose, it would slow down and lose some of its drive, maybe not to a halt but nonetheless, considerably. Linux itself drives other OS companies to push the envelope on their own products and so it's my belief that it benefits, indirectly, from the competition and the fact that closed, proprietary software exists.

Now I don't want to imply that all Linux coders are doing is duplicating closed-source apps and making them opensource, or that in any way Linux is less viable in certain conditions and it deserves any less praise than it does. As a matter of fact the success of it sprung no doubt from its technological abilities and not simply due to political/ideological reasons. I'm simply observing that the intensity and vigor of the Linux project[s] at large is drawing its energy a lot from this counter-proprietary reaction.

Anyway maybe more thoughts from me on this later, in the meantime, I'm curious about your opinions too.