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LinuxWorld: Divided it stands - Linux's open source nature could be its greatest weakness

Jul 02, 2000, 16:34 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nicholas Petreley)

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"ISVs, tired of Microsoft's bullying, have thrown support behind Linux. But take the club out of Redmond's hands by dividing the company and many reasons to embrace open source alternatives evaporate...."

"Microsoft is attempting to capture a monopoly at the server by infecting open Internet protocols with proprietary extensions. The more people use those extensions, the more they will become dependent upon Windows."

"Fortunately, that strategy isn't working very well for Microsoft yet, primarily because it's losing the support of third-party ISVs. The software giant's biggest obstacle in rallying ISV support at the server is its own reputation for predatory behavior. ISVs are giving only reluctant support to Windows because Microsoft so often uses its platform software to put its competitors in other categories out of business."

"But to ISVs, market share is nearly everything. As long as there is the potential for Windows 2000 to capture the most server market share, ISVs will wait and see. They will continue to pretend they love to support Windows while privately denouncing the platform. And if Windows 2000 wins at the server, they will reluctantly support it to the exclusion of many other platforms. But Windows 2000 hasn't won yet, and it's not doing as well as Microsoft had hoped."

"Enter Linux. Linux is demonstrating enough growth that it is becoming an attractive platform for ISVs. Privately, ISVs confess they are still very skeptical that Linux could become the dominant enterprise computing platform. But ISVs are crossing their fingers and hoping the trend continues. Because if it does, it could free them from the nearly guaranteed tyranny of Microsoft."

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