Bill Gates: Commercial and Free Software Work Very Well Together

Posted by Amy Green
Director, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

Bill Gates Faculty SummitToday more than 400 academic researchers from 29 countries gathered in Redmond, as part of Microsoft Research’s fourteenth annual Faculty Summit, to explore how advances in science and technology are solving real-world problems.

Bill Gates set the tone for the summit in a conversation on the topic of “Innovation and Opportunity—the Contribution of Computing to Improving Our World,” focusing on how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is leveraging innovative technologies to improve lives in the areas of education and healthcare.

Gates responded to a question about the potential conflicts he sees between commercial and open source software in his foundation’s work, and his thoughts on the role of intellectual property in global efforts, stating there isn’t as much conflict as people might assume.

“Thank God for commercial software,” he said. “It actually funds salaries, gives people jobs... And thank God for free software. Free software lets people gets things out there that you can play around and build on. But the two work very well in a nice common ecosystem.”

To hear all of Gates’ insightful perspectives on a wide range of topics, from online education to saving millions of children’s lives through vaccinations, you can watch the full discussion on the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit site.

To learn more about how commercial and open source software are working “very well” together, please read more on our Openness at Microsoft site.

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