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San Jose Mercury News: Microsoft Exec Took Aim at Linux Worldwide, Memo Reveals

May 15, 2003, 14:30 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thomas Fuller)


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"Last summer, Orlando Ayala, then in charge of worldwide sales at Microsoft, sent an e-mail message titled 'Microsoft Confidential' to senior managers laying out a company strategy to dissuade governments across the globe from choosing cheaper alternatives to the ubiquitous Windows computer software systems.

"Ayala's message told executives that if a deal involving governments or large institutions looked doomed, they were authorized to draw from a special fund to offer the software at a steep discount or even free if necessary. Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, was sent a copy of the e-mail message.

"The memo specifically mentioned Linux, a still small but emerging software competitor that is not owned by any specific company. 'Under NO circumstances lose against Linux,' Ayala wrote..."

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