Thirty-one years ago, a small group of programmers created a product that Microsoft, even during its most aggressive embrace-and-extend phase, could not snuff out. That product was called Linux. Linux was (and is) an operating system descended from Unix, but unlike proprietary Unix, its source code was publicly available. It was not a company, so it couldn’t be acquired or easily targeted. Instead, it was a loosely organized, fluid collection of skilled volunteer programmers. Its central figure,
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