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Linux is a free Unix-type operating system kernel originally created by Linus Torvalds with the assistance of developers around the world. Developed under the GNU General Public License, the source code for Linux is freely available to everyone - an example of the software libre philosophy.

The Linux kernel along with the GNU operating system is being adopted worldwide by governments, corporations and individuals escaping from Microsoft's domination and control of the Operating System marketplace.

Microsoft has responded by funding think-tanks to cast doubt on the legality of using Linux. Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) in May, 2004, published a book questioning Linux origins. AdTI is one of many think tanks doing Microsoft's bidding, including the Cato Institute, Tech Central Station, and the Heartland Institute.

The "software ecosystem" campaign is one of many techniques Microsoft have used to counter the popularity of Linux.

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