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Open-source fan upstages Gates in China

A protester with a banner advocating free and open-source software steals the stage briefly from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates at a speech at Beijing University.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland

A protester with a banner advocating free and open-source software briefly upstaged Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates at a speech in China on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

As Gates was handing out prizes after his speech at Beijing University, the protester walked onstage, showed his banner, ran off and then was tackled by security personnel. No one was hurt, the AP said.

With software created under the free software or open-source software programming model, underlying source code can be seen, modified and redistributed. Microsoft typically favors the polar opposite, proprietary software whose source code remains a tightly guarded secret.