"Now it benefits anyone who's a potential server OS user if the
fight is an even one. What's needed is good strong competition
between the two platforms, resulting in two robust systems with the
features that enterprises want. There are major differences between
proprietary and open source software -- in terms of philosophy, the
way they are architected and developed, the ecosystems that
surround them and the total cost of ownership -- so it's likely
that a fair fight will lead to very different solutions evolving.
Some enterprises will choose Windows, some will choose Linux, and
some will choose both.
"But here's the problem. Microsoft is, well, Microsoft. In the
Windows market, it's dominant. In fact, it's a monopoly. The 35
percent of the server market (or whatever the exact figure is) that
belongs to Windows belongs to Microsoft. But the same can't be said
on the Linux side. When it comes to supported, updated and paid-for
enterprise Linux, there's two major players: Red Hat's Red Hat
Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
(SLES). They are slugging it out (with Red Hat enjoying by far the
larger market share) while simultaneously as trying to land a punch
on Microsoft's nose."