"Here's why: "I think the dynamic with Linux is changing
somewhat," Ballmer said at the meeting. "I assume we're going to
see Android-based, Linux-based laptops, in addition to phones.
We'll see Google more as a competitor in the desktop operating
system business than we ever have before."
"This statement is quite revealing in that it shows Microsoft's
general fear that Google is out to get it is becoming more
concrete: that Google is going to try to use Linux to do much more
significant damage to Microsoft's businesses than it has managed to
do so far. As yet its Chrome browser (a platform for future web
services?) and its cloud-based applications such as Gmail, Google
Calendar and Google Docs, which compete (in a mild way) with
Outlook and Office have had almost no impact on Microsoft. But
Google taking a lead with Android Linux could make a far bigger
impact on the desktop than any of the more traditional Linux
players have been able to so far.
"Microsoft is also worried about Linux because of its success in
the data center, where its share of the server market, at a little
below 20 percent, is significant. It's these worries that prompted
Microsoft to warn anyone who cared to listen that Linux infringed
its intellectual property and to mutter darkly about legal
repercussions. Last week these mutterings turned into a lawsuit
launched against TomTom, alleging patent violation relating to the
company's implementation of the Linux kernel."