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PC Review: It's enough to make an agnostic believe

Sep 06, 2001, 22:36 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Naughton)

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"In computing networks, economics rule and the winner really does take all. And however much Bill Gates and his colleagues may bleat about the competitiveness of the computer industry and their fears of being overtaken by another company, the reality is that there is no commercial operation on the horizon that could conceivably topple Microsoft.

All of which explains why senior Microsoft executives are increasingly hysterical about open source (that is, free) software and in particular the Linux operating system. For that provides the one kind of competition that is immune to the aggressive corporate tactics in which Microsoft specialises.

Microsoft cannot compete on price, because Linux, like most open source software, is free. And the company cannot claim functional superiority for its products because, for many applications and in many contexts, open source software is technically superior to its Microsoft equivalents. (The Code Red worm scare will have alerted many to the deficiencies of Microsoft server technology - only machines running Microsoft IIS software were at risk.)"

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