Is Linux Keeping the Softies Awake at Night?

We asked readers if they believed Microsoft's every move is dictated by Linux. Their answers may surprise you.

In a recent column, I wondered aloud if too much credit is being given to Linux in explaining Microsofts strategies.

Read the "Its Not ALL About Linux" Column for a Refresher

As I noted, theres no denying that Microsoft is worried about Linux, and justifiably so. But, contrary to prevailing "wisdom," this fear is not dictating Microsofts every move, in my humble opinion.

The extent to which open source is impacting Microsofts corporate psyche became even more of a hot button during the past week or so. Microsofts NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 source code was leaked to the Web, or as some portrayed it, "open sourced" against Microsofts will. Some industry observers suggested Microsoft just bite the bullet and open source the code for real.

See "Advice to Microsoft: Open Source the Leaked Code"

But is Linux/open source Microsofts primary motivator? My inbox was inundated with readers seeking to weigh in on the subject. While I was expecting to be bombarded by members of the self-appointed open-source hit squad, I received relatively few profane poison-pen letters. Instead, folks who agreed — and disagreed — with my premise made some well-reasoned points.

Here is just a sampling of reader mail on the subject:

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