Microsoft: Linuxs Biggest Patron
Opinion: Through its settlements with Sun and Novell, which total more than $2.4 billion, Microsoft has bought an extra dose of punishment from competitors focused on popularizing Linux.Which company is the biggest spender in the Linux world? Is it IBM? Sun Microsystems? Red Hat? Novell? No, the biggest spender in Linux, at least this year, is arguably the company most threatened by its success. With this weeks $536 million settlement of a legal battle with Novell and Aprils $1.9 billion deal with Sun Microsystems, Microsoft has now agreed to pay more than $2.4 billion to companies likely to spend the money popularizing the arch-enemy of all things Microsoft. Redmond is spending this huge sum of money voluntarily in an effort to get its legal problems behind it. By doing so, Microsoft is not only paying for its sins but also buying an extra dose of punishment from two competitors.
Given that neutralizing the Linux threat is Job No. 1 for many at Microsoft these days, a fair question after considering these huge settlements with competitors is, "Has Bill Gates gone nuts?"