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CRN: Ballmer Calls Linux Top Threat To Windows

Jan 10, 2001, 19:19 (42 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paula Rooney)

"Microsoft's President and CEO this week named Linux as the company's biggest problem going into 2001. Speaking at an Internet conference hosted by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Steve Ballmer said that both Unix and Linux threaten Windows' stronghold in the marketplace, but that the latter is the bigger headache."

"I think you have to rate competitors that threaten your core higher than you rate competitors where you're trying to take from them. It puts the Linux phenomenon and the Unix phenomenon at the top of the list," said Ballmer, in a statement last Monday. "I'd put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1."

"In his talk, Ballmer identified Oracle and Sun as second-tier rivals because "I think [server sales are] our biggest potential short-term return." In statements made to CRN last summer, Ballmer identified America Online as the top threat to Microsoft. But this week he said, "I'd put AOL probably maybe at that level or a half-step down [from Oracle and Sun]."

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