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Legal Times: How to End Microsoft's Monopoly

Oct 17, 2001, 20:33 (53 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by James H. Johnston)
"The federal government, with its huge base of personal computers, could make the open source Linux a viable contender to Windows simply by licensing and using it. But this is easier said than done. Indeed, Linux appears to have only a miniscule share of the federal personal computer market. There are reasons for this.

First and foremost is the fact that Microsoft Windows is a strong brand. Even if Windows were not technically the best operating system, its ubiquity and brand name make it difficult for other operating systems to command attention from federal agencies. Pity the poor federal manager who installs Linux on a hundred computers only to have them crash. His job might be on the line -- but probably would not be if the crash had happened with Windows.

Along the same lines, Windows enjoys the advantage that the government prefers to use the same operating system in all agencies, so that workers don't have to be retrained when they change offices or departments.

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