Its Not ALL About Linux
Wait! Before you burn me in effigy atop a pyre of flaming "Linux for Dummies" books, hear me out.
I am discounting neither the value of Linux, nor the huge impact it has had on Microsoft and its customers. Microsoft watches Linux like a hawk and has folks on the Windows Server team who are dedicated to following every open-source twist and turn. And I, for one, am ecstatic that Redmond has some real competition, thanks to Linux and its backers.
But Microsoft knows there is a whole community of folks out there who are married to the Microsoft mob. For better or for worse. Whether Microsoft makes them richer or poorer. Until bankruptcy do they part.
In many markets where Microsoft competes, Linux and open source dont factor into the equation. Linux doesnt show up on Microsofts desktop OS radar. It doesnt figure when it comes to the market for desktop office suites. Dev tools? Gaming? Open source is just a blip.
Nonetheless, its become chic to use Linux as the yardstick for every move Microsoft makes. But to do so is to gloss over Microsofts real motivations.
Here are three examples of what Im talking about:
Sorry, Sun. Not in your wildest dreams. Microsoft decided to add a measly two years of "extended" (read "paid") support for Windows 98 and ME because its users werent ready to upgrade yet.
I know some industry watchers are claiming that Microsoft extended Windows 98 and Windows MEs life support because of THE LINUX THREAT. But I dont buy it. It doesnt make sense. These users are adverse to change. They are sticking with what works. They arent ready to jump to a whole new platform, where their apps may no longer run at all.
I disagree. Microsoft did not make Services for Unix (SFU) free because of Linux. I believe Microsoft decided to make SFU free because the company is preparing