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CNBC: Will Linux Save Microsoft Corp.?

Dec 08, 2000, 20:12 (45 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Hal Plotkin)

"Microsoft doesn't talk about its Linux strategy very much. But it is an open secret in Silicon Valley that the company could rather easily steal the thunder from faddishly popular Linux firms, such as Caldera Systems Inc. {CALD} and Red Hat Inc. {RHAT}, at just about anytime it chooses. Microsoft could, in fact, co-opt the open-source movement the way it co-opted the Web-browser business -- after it found that its proprietary online technologies couldn't compete with the Internet formats that Netscape was popularizing."

"The moment of truth for the Linux companies will arrive if and when they start to succeed in any truly meaningful way. Students of Microsoft have no doubt that, if Linux really starts to catch on, Bill Gates & Co. will stop dissing the Windows alternative and get at the head of the Linux parade -- if that is what it takes to keep its position in the software industry."

"The only thing Microsoft has to do is to release its own version of the Line OS. There is no reason to do that now, given the still-small market share commanded by Linux software, particularly on the end-user side. But let that market continue to grow a little more and Microsoft will be faced with a choice: Either it cedes part of its core OS market to the Linux companies, or it competes with them head-to-head."

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