CNET Enterprise Computing: Microsoft’s waffling on Linux

“While the software giant dismisses the ‘open source’ operating
system as ill-adapted to the marketplace, the company
simultaneously holds it up to be a competitor–convenient while
Microsoft is fighting off monopoly accusations from the Justice

Asked if Linux is threatening to Microsoft, Ed Muth, group
product manager for Windows 2000, flatly says no.

But in nearly the same breath, Muth said that Linux does in fact
compete with Windows NT, although he believes that ‘Linux also
competes, perhaps more vigorously, with other versions of

A competitor but not a threat? ‘A fine line,’ observed Dwight
Davis, an analyst at Summit Strategies, noting the obvious benefits
of Microsoft’s pointing to competitive dangers in light of the
monopoly accusations it faces.

But regardless of how Microsoft perceives Linux, the operating
system is a good bargaining chip in hardware vendors’ negotiations
with Microsoft on Windows licensing fees, Davis said.”