i think there are a number of ways of looking at this. microsoft is obviously using this to cash in legally on the mountains of free code that people have written over the years, i dont see this as a problem. both microsoft and the linux kernel started with humble beginnings. whereas bill gates chose to make a profit out of his situation (probably an understatement), linus could have sold his work for profit without fear of royalties as he didnt clone an existing system. he simply wrote something that was compliant and for future generations to modify. imagine if msdos was released under the gpl and linus had sold his operating system for profit? i dont think the situation would be any different. although reading bill gates' past 'quips' from folklore.org, i dont think he would be so quick to help. this really boils down to the motives that created these systems.