"There are alternatives to Microsoft's Windows and
Office software, including the Linux operating system and Sun
Microsystems' StarOffice productivity package. But the vast
majority of businesses have standardized on Microsoft's products,
making migrating to a rival product difficult. "There aren't a lot
of alternatives for desktop productivity," MacDonald said. "Corel
(WordPerfect) is a weak competitor and so is StarOffice."
The new licensing policies, however, could lead to businesses
taking a second look at alternative products. No customers
contacted by CNET News.com said they planned to evaluate
But competition in the server software market remains healthy.
For example, companies can choose Linux as an operating system,
database software from IBM, or Oracle or messsaging software such
as IBM's Lotus Notes as alternatives to Microsoft's products."