Can the Redmond Leopard Change Its Spots?

Microsoft execs claim to want to change the terms of the Linux vs. Windows debate. But do they really - and, more importantly - can they?

Weve come a long way from the days when top Microsoft brass called Linux "un-American" and a "cancer." Or have we?

Microsofts new point man on Linux, Martin Taylor, is making the rounds this week, informing folks that Microsoft is done with helping to fuel the never-ending Linux vs. Windows religious wars. Instead, Microsoft wants to focus on "facts," Taylor says, such as data provided by third-party studies (some of which will be funded unabashedly by Microsoft) designed to help customers evaluate open-source vs. Microsoft software.

Microsoft already has funded at least two such studies — last years total cost of ownership study performed by International Data Corp. and the more recent embedded Windows vs. embedded Linux bake-off done by Embedded Market Forecasters. Microsofts public sector unit has its own open-source vs. Microsoft studies involving government customers up its sleeve, as well, Microsoft officials have acknowledged.

To read the full story, visit Microsoft Watch.