"Last week, when research firm Meta Group of Stamford, Conn.,
predicted that Microsoft (MSFT) would begin to support Linux by
late 2004 with some of its key server products--Exchange, IIS, SQL
server, and the like--reactions ranged from outrage to
befuddlement. A source inside Microsoft called the report 'wacky.'
Analysts of all stripes debated the veracity of the findings. Even
Dale Kutnick, Meta's chief research officer, admitted that
Microsoft 'is pissed.'
"Though the 'Microsoft to run Linux' headlines are shocking, the
report's conclusions make a lot of sense. Indeed, a more shocking
headline would be 'Microsoft not to run Linux...'
"However, the notion that Microsoft might port its server
software applications to Linux is on its face akin to heresy. Right
now, the overwhelming majority of Microsoft's revenue comes from
its Windows products. Stepping back from Windows would be like
'admitting that Linux was dominant,' says Stacey Quandt, an analyst
with Giga. Quandt believes that Microsoft will counter the Linux
threat by reducing prices to make its offerings more
attractive--and competitively relevant..."