"I've been reading with amusement a series of
pronouncements by Microsoft executives about how they have targeted
Linux for extinction. The sales and marketing machine at Microsoft
is going to go into high gear, we are told, to kill off Linux the
way the company extinguished Netscape, Novell and a host of other
competitors. The only problem with Microsoft strategy is that the
competition is coming from a lot of sources, some of it is really,
really good, and, most importantly, another set of Microsoft
policies is stimulating Linux sales across the globe.
According to documents leaking out all over the place from
Redmond, beating Linux is to become the number one focus of
competitive efforts over the next year. According to Paula Rooney
of the Computer Reseller's News, sales people encountering
Linux-based competition will have access to an escalation team
headed by Brian Valentine. Valentine's name is significant, because
he heads the enterprise and parent group, the branch of Microsoft
that deals most closely with VARs and system integrators.
The reason that beating Linux is the highest priority at Redmond
is that unlike, Novell, Netscape, Corel, Lotus or any of
Microsoft's previous targets, there has been no obvious company to
blow away, no means to starve the competition into submission. And,
unlike these other targets, Microsoft is not winning. Linux has
grown in influence, and things look to get worse, not better, for
Microsoft in the short term."