Page Two

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-07-08 Print this article Print

Microsoft has also recently sharpened the focus of its nearly $5 billion investment in R&D innovation around an integrated platform strategy and the forthcoming "Longhorn" wave of products. It is also ratcheting up the pressure on its staff to improve connections with customers, increase internal efficiency and meet competitive challenges, especially those surrounding Linux, head-on.
Microsoft executives are increasingly focusing on the Linux threat. In May, the German city of Munich decided to dump Windows and move to Linux and other open-source software, despite the intervention of Ballmer, who interrupted his ski vacation in Switzerland to personally call on Munichs mayor.
In a teleconference with the media and analysts in April to present Microsofts third-quarter financial results, John Connors, Microsofts chief financial officer, said that Linux and non-commercial software were one of the risks facing the company. That followed the February admission by Gates to more than 600 of Microsofts Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) that he is taking the Linux threat seriously. In its last 10-Q quarterly filing, Microsoft also said that the popularization of the open-source movement continues to pose a significant challenge to its business model. The latest compensation moves also follow a number of end-of-financial-year staff shuffles. Earlier this month Peter Houston, who as the senior director of Microsofts Windows Server Strategies has had to defend and explain the companys response to the competitive threat posed by Linux and open source for the past 18 months, moved to Microsofts Enterprise Management Division, where he will work on the upcoming Systems Center product. That followed last months reorganization of Microsofts platforms group, where the Developer and Platform Evangelism Business, the Windows Server System Business, and the Enterprise Storage and Management Business were combined under the existing Servers and Tools Profit & Loss center (P&L), headed by Senior Vice President Eric Rudder.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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