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LinuxNews.com: The Truth Behind Microsoft's Position on Linux

Mar 15, 2000, 17:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mark Bolzern)


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"Microsoft has managed to create a quagmire of uncertainty among some potential Linux users by conveniently recognizing Linux as a technological threat to Windows 9x and NT during the Antitrust Trial, then denouncing Linux as 'hype' on a Microsoft web site. Obviously, Microsoft was willing to portray Linux as competition to the court, but not to the buying public."

"One the one hand, in its 'Proposed Findings' submitted to the anti-trust court, Microsoft all but endorsed Linux. The section on the findings on competitive operating systems glittered with references to Linux's viability and acceptance. While anti-trust prosecutors no doubt anticipated that sort of tactic from Microsoft, such detailed recognition of Linux coming from Microsoft was stunning. Of course, Microsoft's Proposed Findings were not the findings of the court, and shortly after the trial, Microsoft accordingly changed its public position about Linux."

"While Microsoft may have previously characterized Linux as 'pie in the sky,' the company felt sufficiently threatened to show a short film ridiculing Linux at its July meeting with stock market analysts. Most people would consider that good old-fashioned FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt), a tactic frequently employed by Microsoft. After the meeting, however, Microsoft executives reportedly emphasized the real point: They had ridiculed Linux because they were afraid of it."

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