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ZDNet: Microsoft's campaign to help Linux on the desktop

Apr 12, 2001, 19:30 (33 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

"Sometimes I think that if Microsoft didn't exist, Linux fans would have had to invent it. It's the company everyone in Linux land loves to hate--very often with good reason, sometimes without reason, and occasionally just because it feels good. Recently, Redmond seems to be returning the compliment in kind."

"People in open source land don't begrudge Microsoft's right to earn income so much as its tactics in doing so. And, at least in the case of applications, there's one tactic at the top of just about every open source advocate's hit list: the use of proprietary, undocumented file formats--the code that stores where text is bolded and margins changed."

"Had Microsoft not adopted this tactic, most users might still be using Office 95, but by making file formats of newer versions of Office unreadable by older versions, Microsoft created a pressing need to upgrade, even among users who didn't need any of the newer features."

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