Ayala rallies the troops

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-01-22 Print this article Print

and Linux vendors prepare to respond."> But, in a rallying cry to the troops, the Ayala email said that the overall data suggests that Microsoft was doing a good job delivering bottom-line business value against commercial Linux offerings in terms of costs, licensing and support models. Ayala also suggested that field staff point their clients to the Get the Facts Web site, while promising that Microsoft would update the site with new market research reports as soon as they became available to "ensure you have solid data to support your outreach efforts."
Ayala also encouraged his team to engage with their customers about the types of data they need to answer questions or make fact-based decisions. "Encourage them to lend their voice and their testimonial to the overall Just the Facts campaign through case studies and references."
"Most importantly, deliver on your customers requests and ensure that Microsoft is meeting their needs both with value-driven industry leading software and in collaboration with an engaged partner base that cares deeply about their business. Working together I know we can continue our momentum and keep our focus squarely on delivering unparalleled value to customers and partners moving forward," Ayala concluded. Microsofts sponsored research and its findings have raised the ire of many in the Linux and open-source community who view them as biased and inaccurate. And the community intends to start fighting back. Jim Stallings, IBMs general manager for Linux told eWeek in a Wednesday interview at the LinuxWorld show in New York that Big Blue and others in the community would be making a strong case to customers about the value of Linux and its superiority to Windows on the security and cost of ownership fronts. "This will happen this year, but it will not be a marketing plan. It will take the form of research and customer testimonials and references and will be done in association with the community," he said. Microsoft has been on the Linux offensive after the recent loss of many high-profile customers to Linux, many of them governments and governmental agencies and departments. Just last month the Israeli government said it would encourage the development of lower-priced alternatives to Microsoft software. Meanwhile, a number of governments in Europe, Asia and Africa are exploring open-source alternatives to Microsoft servers and desktop software. In addition, federal agencies in Germany, France and China are all already using or considering open-source alternatives. At the same time, Microsoft has been fighting back and actively been lobbying governments around the world against the acceptance of open-source applications and Linux. To that end, Microsoft last January announced a global initiative to provide governments around the world with access to Windows source code under its Government Security Program. The sharing aims to "address the unique security requirements of governments and international organizations throughout the world."

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 www.eweek.com.


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