Andy Tai writes "As part of Microsoft's campaign against the GPL, Bill Gates is personally coming to the front line to launch attacks. While speaking at the Government Leadership Conference, Gates argues against spending R&D dollars for GPLed software development. He suggests countries that look to adapt the GPL model are denying "the benefits of an eco-system that has worked extremely well in the United States" and they should copy the system in the US (where Microsoft has an monopoly). He further suggests that source code availability is not generally needed, and when it is needed, Microsoft provides it. Invoking words like "capitalism" and "innovation", Gates argues that free software can exist, but should be like a free unix called "VSB" (probably a transcription error for BSD), without the GPL around it. Gates continues: 'A government can fund research work on BFP, UNIX, and still have commercial companies in their country start off around that type of work. You know, technology policies like biotech -- you only -- if your universities are doing work that can be commercialized, you will have IT jobs in your country. And if they are not, then fine, just say that farming is your thing, or whatever it is. All the taxes will be paid by those guys or something -- I don't know. And the farmers will go home at night and work on the source code.' It is interesting to note that Microsoft is increasingly using the same "ecosystem" arguments for defending itself in the anti-trust trial and attacks on the GPL."