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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-27 Print this article Print

Microsoft also recently said that it could be forced to lower its software prices in the future as a result of the growth of open source. In its February 10-Q quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Microsoft said that the popularization of the open-source movement continued to pose a significant challenge to its business model. This threat included "recent efforts by proponents of the open source model to convince governments worldwide to mandate the use of open source software in their purchase and deployment of software products.
"To the extent the open source model gains increasing market acceptance, sales of the companys products may decline, the company may have to reduce the prices it charges for its products, and revenues and operating margins may consequently decline," it said.
Also, in an assessment of the challenges facing Microsoft, John Connors, Microsofts chief financial officer, said in a teleconference with the media and analysts last month to present the Redmond, Wash., companys third-quarter financial results, that Linux and non-commercial software remained a significant threat to the company. That warning followed the comments by Microsoft Corp. chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates in February, when he told more than 600 of Microsofts Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) that he took the Linux threat seriously. Microsoft also last week took center stage in the crusade by the SCO Group to protect its Unix intellectual property, when the Redmond software firm said it was licensing the Unix source code and patent from SCO. Responding to allegations that Microsoft was simply using the IP license as a ruse to fund SCOs campaign against IBM, which SCO is suing for $1 billion, and Linux, which it claims is an unauthorized derivative of Unix, Alex Mercer, a Microsoft spokeswoman, told eWEEK that this was "absolutely not" Microsofts intent. "There is absolutely no correlation between the IBM suit and our IP license with SCO," she said.

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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