ComputerWorld: Microsoft’s Tod Nielsen describes world of Web services [& talks about Linux]

“Taking over a slot generally reserved for the likes of his
company’s chairman Bill Gates, Microsoft Corp.’s Tod Nielsen
yesterday delivered the opening keynote at Comdex in Chicago.
Afterward, he spoke to Computerworld about the industry’s move
toward Web services.”

Q: I counted three Linux jokes in your keynote.
Does that mean Linux is now the main competitor on your

A: I wouldn’t say the main competitor. I think Linux is
certainly something we pay attention to.
My background in
Microsoft is working with the developer community, and so anything
that gets the developer community’s interest, I want to
understand – what the value proposition is and what I can do to
better respond to that.”

Q: So from your perspective, what is the Linux value
proposition and how can you respond to it?

A: It’s not what people commonly think, (that it’s) because it’s
open source and you can work on the source. It’s rare to find a
developer who makes any source changes to the Linux code. What they
like is its suitability to (certain) tasks. You don’t see them
using a rich set of services building a rich set of applications,
but if they want to have a fast, simple Web server or a special
embedded appliance and they want a simple OS, it does that task
pretty well. And it’s Unix-based, so people who have the Unix bent
are comfortable using it.”