Some thoughts on Microsoft v. Linux
by benanzo - 5/26/07 8:34 PM
I don't think there is any doubt in the PC OEM industry that the slow transition from MS to Linux of Joe-user's desktop is inevitable. Very careful steps are being taken by Dell and others to make a deliberate and lasting presence in the minds of the computer-elite, those who recommend which product to get to the not-so-elite. It is apparent now that Free software is as capable (if not more-so) on the desktop than that which we've been paying boatloads of cash for over the last decade and a half. We've seen SCO effectively bankrupt because of their proprietary mindset and lack of adaptability in the face of Free and superior competition. This was achieved on a small scale. The SCO Group's demise was peanuts. Microsoft, the real Trophy Fish, knows this. They are not blind. They see big, powerful companies starting this transition. They see Intel open-sourcing their graphics drivers for no other reason than to gain favor in the Linux community. They see ATI making (albeit vague) promises to supply open-source drivers to Linux. They see page after page on every major OEM's website detailing how they are the right vender to get your OSS fix.
This is the short-list of companies pushing Linux.
MS knows that it is only a matter of time before their partners abandon them in favor of Free-er/better products.
They first tried to stifle Linux's uptake by supplying a $10 million cash infusion into SCO's case. After it became apparent that IBM was eating SCO alive in the courtroom, MS sulked off to concentrate on other means. Now we see MS claiming patent ownership of major OSS code and implying that a patent license is in order. This is the only way MS can see that they have a chance in the competition. This is the route SCO took. Sue. Well, we know how SCO did. It's not clear whether MS is as stupid as SCO, but it is clear that this shows in plain daylight that Microsoft is scared. They know GNU/Linux is destroying their monopoly. They know they cannot compete on a bit-by-bit level. They cannot make a better product. (With all the $billions and years they spent on IE7, is it any better than the free and open-source Firefox? no. That is just one example.)