TechRepublic: The duality of Microsoft’s position on Linux

“Microsoft’s statements about Linux have created a lot of
confusion in the marketplace. This column presents a look at the
positions taken by Microsoft during and after its antitrust trial,
as well as an evaluation of them by a Linux advocate.”

“On the one hand, in its “Proposed Findings” submitted to the
antitrust court, Microsoft all but endorsed Linux. The section on
the findings on competitive operating systems glittered with
references to Linux’s viability and acceptance. Even though
antitrust prosecutors no doubt anticipated that sort of tactic from
Microsoft, such detailed recognition of Linux coming from Microsoft
was stunning. Of course, Microsoft’s Proposed Findings were not the
findings of the court, and shortly after the trial, Microsoft
accordingly changed its public position on Linux.”

“We all know that Microsoft is a fierce competitor, with many
challengers and enemies. But in the interest of separating the hype
from the realities, we need to sort out what the main assertions
were about Linux that Microsoft declared in its court-filed
“Proposed Findings,” and how these assertions compare to the “Linux
Myths” document. As one who has been heavily involved with the
microcomputing world since the mid-1970s and has been a member of
the Linux community from the outset, I would like to review
Microsoft’s positions and try to make sense of them.”

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