"But the biggest news from Ballmer took the form of some
offhand remarks about Linux, the open-source software solution
that's already a credible challenger of Windows on servers and is
increasingly interesting as a desktop OS. Calling the Linux
movement a "phenomenon," Ballmer admitted that his company was
continuously evaluating Linux and would probably port .NET services
to Linux, although "there are hurdles to putting Microsoft software
"Observing that the PC's open hardware model is what let that
system emerge victorious over closed systems such as the Macintosh,
Linux analysts say that the open Linux OS will similarly triumph
over the closed Windows environment..."
"The crucial open-source software battlefield could well decide
Microsoft's role in the future of the industry. Thanks to Ballmer's
comments, Microsoft's public protestations regarding the
possibility of its developing Linux applications now seem a bit
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