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eWeek: Ballmer: 'We're now in full motion' - MS initiatives to attack Linux on all fronts

Feb 07, 2001, 19:36 (73 Talkback[s])

"eWEEK: Linux, which you have described as your greatest competitive threat, is also pushing into the embedded space. What exactly is the nature of the Linux threat to Microsoft and what is your strategy to deal with it?

BALLMER: The Linux approach has led to an environment from which we can all learn, as it's a great way to do developer support. ...there is something about the way the Linux community supports itself that every platform provider should study if it wants to provide broad community. ...the other thing the Linux community has done well is the support of unusual devices, smart devices, embedded devices, and that's why you see us making the investments we are in support and around the embedded community. ... The application development infrastructure on Linux is pretty weak, there's not really much there today. Now you can cobble stuff together here and there, but that doesn't lead to an integrated type of experience.

Linux has established its position in three places: in the ISP market with Apache, computer science schools and the unusual embedded device markets (and sporadically in other server places). ... And Microsoft programs and initiatives will attack on every one of these fronts."

"eWEEK: You have an agreement with Corel Corp. that gives you the option of using Corel to port your .Net applications to Linux if you so choose. Are you considering this?

BALLMER: We have said that we are going to take a part of the .Net Common Language Runtime system and make that available on other platforms, including Linux. I stand by that statement, as we view that as a great tool to get C# and our infrastructure into the academic and computer science arena. Porting our .Net applications to Linux is not top of mind today. That doesn't mean it might not happen some day, but we're just not thinking about it now."

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