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TelevisionRecently I spoke with Munir Kotadia at ZDNet UK in London about the future of the Internet — a subject I love to talk about. One of Munir’s questions was “How long can Microsoft dominate the browser market?”. “Browser market”, I said? Sure, if you look just at PC’s you would wonder why anyone would try to compete with a monopoly that has 95 percent of the market. However, if you look at the market for Internet devices with browsers on them — including televisions, PDA’s, phones, automobiles and virtually any kind of device that has a chip on it and a network connection — then you get a much different picture. How many devices will have a chip and a network connection? All of them — billions of them. Basically, everything becomes a computer on the Web and then no one company dominates that market. There is a huge opportunity for innovation and we are the very beginning of the potential. This is why I am optimistic about Opera Software.
The other topic Munir asked about was why Linux is so popular? There is a perception that Linux is about “free”, but my belief is that Linux is about “freedom”. I got some feedback from a few readers who said I was more than a little off base with my Linux comments. Maybe, but it is what I believe. It is not about free because it is not free, no software is free. There are implicit costs involved in using any software. The issue is about freedom — for people to make the choices they want to make with the software they use and to have the partnerships they want with other vendors.
The complete interview is here.