"Governments around the world, afraid that Microsoft has become
too powerful in critical software markets, have begun working to
ensure an alternative.
"More than two dozen countries in Asia, Europe and Latin
America, including China and Germany, are now encouraging their
government agencies to use 'open source' software—developed
by communities of programmers who distribute the code without
charge and donate their labor to cooperatively debug, modify and
otherwise improve the software.
"The best known of these projects is Linux, a computer operating
system that Microsoft now regards as the leading competitive threat
to its lucrative Windows franchise in the market for software that
runs computer servers. The foremost corporate champion of Linux is
I.B.M., which is working with many governments on Linux
[Editor's Note: As many LT readers don't care to register at
any site, reader EvilBob submitted a link to
a CNN/Money story that picks up a lot of the major points from the
NYT article. -BKP]
CNN/Money: Linux Gains on Microsoft
"After years of defending itself against anti-competitive
allegations, Microsoft is now on the other side of the coin, as a
number of international government agencies are encouraging the use
of free, 'open source' server software, according to a published
"Shares of Microsoft (MSFT: down $1.10 to $47.11, Research,
Estimates), the world's largest software maker, fell about 3
percent in mid-day trade Thursday.
"As it faces the growing threat of 'open source' software,
particularly the Linux operating system, Microsoft is backing an
industry group called the Initiative for Software Choice,
comprising mostly small international companies and organizations,
according to the New York Times..."
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