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TechRepublic: The duality of Microsoft's position on Linux

Sep 23, 2000, 14:12 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mark Bolzern)

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"Microsoft's statements about Linux have created a lot of confusion in the marketplace. This column presents a look at the positions taken by Microsoft during and after its antitrust trial, as well as an evaluation of them by a Linux advocate."

"On the one hand, in its "Proposed Findings" submitted to the antitrust court, Microsoft all but endorsed Linux. The section on the findings on competitive operating systems glittered with references to Linux's viability and acceptance. Even though antitrust 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 on Linux."

"We all know that Microsoft is a fierce competitor, with many challengers and enemies. But in the interest of separating the hype from the realities, we need to sort out what the main assertions were about Linux that Microsoft declared in its court-filed "Proposed Findings," and how these assertions compare to the "Linux Myths" document. As one who has been heavily involved with the microcomputing world since the mid-1970s and has been a member of the Linux community from the outset, I would like to review Microsoft's positions and try to make sense of them."

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