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NewsForge: Microsoft builds the government Linux market

Jan 16, 2002, 22:16 (22 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Bryar)
"I've been reading with amusement a series of pronouncements by Microsoft executives about how they have targeted Linux for extinction. The sales and marketing machine at Microsoft is going to go into high gear, we are told, to kill off Linux the way the company extinguished Netscape, Novell and a host of other competitors. The only problem with Microsoft strategy is that the competition is coming from a lot of sources, some of it is really, really good, and, most importantly, another set of Microsoft policies is stimulating Linux sales across the globe.

According to documents leaking out all over the place from Redmond, beating Linux is to become the number one focus of competitive efforts over the next year. According to Paula Rooney of the Computer Reseller's News, sales people encountering Linux-based competition will have access to an escalation team headed by Brian Valentine. Valentine's name is significant, because he heads the enterprise and parent group, the branch of Microsoft that deals most closely with VARs and system integrators.

The reason that beating Linux is the highest priority at Redmond is that unlike, Novell, Netscape, Corel, Lotus or any of Microsoft's previous targets, there has been no obvious company to blow away, no means to starve the competition into submission. And, unlike these other targets, Microsoft is not winning. Linux has grown in influence, and things look to get worse, not better, for Microsoft in the short term."

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