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CBS MarketWatch: Government, Microsoft in final exchange of legal papers [MS plans Linux defense]

“A Microsoft attorney said the company will point
to the remarkable financial success of Red Hat
Inc., a leading
vendor of the upstart Linux software operating system. Red Hat
stock has soared from $14 on its first day trading last month to
close Thursday at $123.25.

An economist who testified for the Justice Department, Franklin
Fisher, had dismissed as ‘a joke, of course’ the potential threat
that Linux posed to the market dominance of Microsoft’s Windows
software.

The Microsoft lawyer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
the company will tell the judge it believes Linux to be ‘real
competition.’

‘It’s the essence of competition in this business,’ the lawyer
said. ‘You have to see the trend and react to it before it has
market share or you’ll be relegated to the history pages.’ The
Justice Department has argued that Linux has been successful
challenging Microsoft in the sale of high-end business ‘server’
computers, not consumer machines.

And Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was quoted in earlier evidence
in the trial as saying at a technology conference this spring that
Linux’s impact ‘will be fairly limited’ and that he’s never had a
customer mention Linux to him.”


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