Linux Journal: Finding the Facts About Linux

Is Linux really a “fringe operating system” that can’t
compete effectively unless the government steps in and protects it
from big, bad Microsoft?

“You’d think Linux advocates would have welcomed Judge Thomas
Penfield Jackson’s Findings of Fact in the Microsoft trial, namely
that the software giant indeed possesses a monopoly in the PC
operating system market–and what’s more, that the company’s
actions inflict harm on consumers. Not surprisingly, most Linux
advocates greeted the decision with glee. One could almost hear the
strains of “Ding, Dong, The Witch is Dead.”

“Yet the Linux community’s reaction reveals a degree of
ambivalence that struck some outsiders as quite puzzling; after
all, this community is notorious for Microsoft-bashing. For
example, a Slashdot article portrayed Microsoft executives as
“tragic figures”, expressing something akin to sympathy, while
others took Judge Jackson to task for underestimating the threat
that Linux poses to Microsoft–and in so doing, seemed to join
forces with Microsoft’s defense attorneys, who have been making
precisely the same point.”