“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight
you, then they lose. This was the four phase scenario outlined in
an interview with Linux evangelist Jon Maddog Hall last month when
discussing the likely response of Microsoft to the rise of Linux.
Well, a recent interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Forbes
magazine indicates that Microsoft has moved into phase three of
Maddog’s prophetic timeline.
“For a long time, Microsoft collectively shrugged when it came
to Linux matters. Then about two years ago, the desktop software
monopolist poached a Linux specialist from IBM by the name of Bill
Hilf to help the company understand Linux issues. Hilf has publicly
scorned suggestions that Linux could one day be a force on the
desktop. ‘Every year someone says that this year is going to be the
year of Linux on the desktop,’ he smirked recently…”