Microsoft increasingly acknowledges strength

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-08-19 Print this article Print

of Linux"> Microsoft executives are now also increasingly admitting that Linux and open-source software is one of its main competitive threats. At its annual financial analysts day held at the Redmond campus last month, Kevin Johnson, the group vice president of Microsofts worldwide sales, marketing and services group, gave a 40-minute presentation entitled "Competing and Winning Around Linux." And, in a recent interview with eWEEK, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that, on the competitive front, in addition to Google and Yahoo, Linux remains among the most significant challengers Microsoft faces.
Ballmer also said that he believed that the religious war between Linux and Windows was over and the battle now was about which offers customers the best technology solution. Conceding that Linux holds the upper hand in areas such as Web hosting, Ballmer stressed that Microsoft is doing all it can to change that.
Click here to read what else Ballmer had to say. Asked about Microsofts recent moves to meet with open-source executives and the taming of its anti-Linux rhetoric, Red Hats Day said this was proof that Linux had become a standard platform and a major competitive threat. But Microsofts Taylor disagrees that funded research is not useful, saying that a discussion on facts and independent data is always a benefit to the industry. "As much as Microsoft might get billed as being anti-Linux, thats actually not the case. I just want people to judge technology on its merit versus on hype and emotion. It helps all of us build better products and respond to customer needs more effectively," Taylor said. As the commercialization of Linux played out even more, customers are going to require that type of research data. "I actually have customers even now asking for analysis on Linux. While we have done some in our Linux and open-source Lab for internal purposes, there is nothing substantial out there," he said. Click here to read more on Microsofts Linux and Open-Source Lab. Asked what Microsofts motives were for suggesting such a move and offering to jointly fund it, Taylor said "because I want to know the facts. I want people to see the facts for how they truly are. If we did this, some of the research would be good for us and some of it bad for us, just like all the other studies we do. I think they just help with the dialogue. "Success for us isnt that Linux goes away. Success for us is getting past all the hype and emotion and where people choose technology on its merits," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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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