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When Keith Curtis dropped out of the University of Michigan at age 20 to work full-time as a programmer at Microsoft, he never imagined that he would one day leave the nest and become a voice of the growing-like-wildfire free software movement.

His experiences at Microsoft allowed him to see first-hand the flaw in the proprietary software development model. Teams of programmers were assigned to work on projects with only each other to look to when solving problems or dreaming up new features.

Microsoft’s critical source code is proprietary and, obviously, closely guarded. This means less idea sharing and hindered progress—a way of doing things contrary to the spirit that other types of scientists have historically practiced.

Keith argues that the rate of acceleration of key technologies has been so slow that we are actually living in the technological dark ages compared to what we will accomplish when the scientists that make the machines around us smarter are openly working together.

“We need to pool our collective intelligence and get to work on fixing our most serious threats—and in today’s society that begins with having great software. Wikipedia has flaws, especially regarding the current political topics, but it is a example of our ability to exponentially work together.”

There are numerous implications — like the very real ability to develop healthcare technologies faster.

“We should have been working together all along, but it is absolutely necessary now for the big challenges that remain. Not all software should be free, but it is necessary that we come together on the hardest challenges.” Keith resides in Detroit Michigan, communicating his sometimes controversial but important message by writing and consulting.

After The Software Wars has over 100,000 downloads and he has written articles for or been featured in publications including the New York Times, PC World, Linux Magazine, American Thinker, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Today, he helps small companies solve their technological problems. Here are a few recent Detroit-based sites he’s helped setup or redo:

If you want to create or improve your website, setup collaboration software, grow your business through the use of free software like Linux and Python. or have technical or strategic questions about the maze of technology, send an email: keithcu@gmail.com

Keep up-to-date with developments on Twitter.


New York Times
Seattle PI
PC World.com
Discussion with Ray Kurzweil
Network World
Slashdot (Another)
Linux Magazine
Paul Thurrott’s Winsupersite (Part 2, Part 3)
Tom’s Hardware
American Thinker


  1. Dear Keith,
    I just finished your book which really held my attention well. I recently got fed up with Microsoft’s attacks on the state governments of Georgia and North Carolina and decided to dual boot my win 10 computer with Linux Mint 17.3 on March 31, 2016. I was astounded at the ease which the process occurred. All my hardware, included external hard drive docking station worked flawlessly. I was also able to access all my Windows data. My computer now works faster, is more stable, and more secure. Your book is excellent, and I totally agree that government interference in our everyday times is reaching intolerable levels. I will soon be leaving Win 10 completely. Thank you for making your book available for free. I will recommend it to others.

    Dave McIntire

  2. If the possibility of open collaboration is all that is needed for faster progress, then why has Linux been so divided?

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