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Microsoft Linux Business

Microsoft Acknowledges Linux Threat To Windows 348

angry tapir sends along coverage from Good Gear Guide of a recent Microsoft !0-K SEC filing: "Microsoft for the first time has named Linux distributors Red Hat and Canonical as competitors to its Windows client business in its annual filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The move is an acknowledgment of the first viable competition from Linux to Microsoft's Windows client business, due mainly to the use of Linux on netbooks, which are rising in prominence as alternatives to full-sized notebooks. ... 'Client faces strong competition from well-established companies with differing approaches to the PC market,' Microsoft said in the filing. 'Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Canonical, and Red Hat.'"
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Microsoft Acknowledges Linux Threat To Windows

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  • by fleton ( 1612167 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:07PM (#28950779)
    Use the Linux Luke, use the Linux. I agree that Micro$oft is using Linux as a pawn in their game to make a "legal" monopoly, they have done it before in previous anti-trust lawsuits so this really is not that new of news.
  • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:26PM (#28950935) Homepage
    I hate to say it, because I'm a linux fanboy, but Linux on netbooks has more or less failed. Manufacturers like Asus dropped the ball by shipping too many Linux machines with screwed up configurations (and also with the crappiest Linux distros available). MS also recognized the threat and entered the ring fighting. The result is that most retailers are pushing netbooks with Windows, and most people buying netbooks are buying them with Windows. Maybe this will change if ARM-based netbooks really take off, but I suspect it will be the same story all over again.
  • by superslacker87 ( 998043 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @10:29PM (#28950953)

    Would you be happier if they were using the term oligopoly []? Then you could chuck Apple in with MS and it would be blazingly accurate.

  • I am not surprised to see this kind of release. After all, they need to hold on to that monopoly position on the desktop to keep their server business afloat.

    What was interesting was the complete lack of any mention of Novell's SLED product. Remember, that MS and Novell are in cahoots to put servers out there running both Windows Workstation 2008 and SLES. In fact, I distinctly remember Ballmer last year mentioning "suzie" in one of his speeches at the Visual Studio 2008 launch event.

    Oddly enough, also, there's no mention of a distribution running KDE. Both Ubuntu (which I use now on my laptop) and Red Hat are GNOME-based distros by default. SLED (and openSUSE) are also becoming more GNOME-centric. (I know you can put KDE on any of these, and I run KTorrent as well as KRDC in my desktop.)
  • Re:This Is News??!!! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:20PM (#28951373)

    I dunno I like this

    'Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Canonical, and Red Hat.'"

    Is it me or is there a subtle jab a Richard "GNU is not Unix" Stallman there. Is it possible that they hate him so much they are trolling him in a SEC filing. Or are they trying to troll Apple by pointing out that (unlike Cutler's highly succesful NT project) their Copland kernel project failed and they ended up using a BSD kernel from Nextstep. Is the idea that their enemies will read this and be driven into chair hurling rage that will sap their productivity.

    I'd like to think so.

  • Re:This Is News??!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Tuesday August 04, 2009 @11:41PM (#28951525) Journal
    Are you guys really this desperate to drum up the anti-Microsoft pagehits?

    Is open discussion really anti-Microsoft?

    This recurrent claim of anti-Microsoft bias early in Slashdot discussions involving MS is so frequent that it's hard to believe it's anything other than a deliberate tactic by their reputation management team.

  • Android? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybereal ( 621599 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:32AM (#28951857) Homepage

    I know everyone's really excited that their imaginary enemy has finally validated their existence as a threat but let's be more realistic here. If there's anything remotely interesting about this filing, it's that android and the upcoming Chrome OS is not mentioned at all.

    To me it seems more like a message of disrespect to google, a more realistic competitor, than anything...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:46AM (#28951977)

    Their software isn't made to run on low-end hardware, they have no appliance market strategy.

    Then what are all those Windows CE devices doing?

    Being laughed at by everyone that has used it as a desktop OS replacement?

    Windows CE is for embedded applications, not low end personal computing applications.

  • Re:monopolies (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fryjs ( 1456943 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @01:37AM (#28952267) Homepage
    That doesn't resolve anything though. How can you know if you're abusing a monopoly position if you don't know whether or not you're a monopoly?
  • Re:monopolies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <<falconsoaring_2000> <at> <>> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @03:02AM (#28952799)

    How can you know if you're abusing a monopoly position if you don't know whether or not you're a monopoly?

    That's easy, if you're requiring OEMs to pay for a license for every PC sold whether your software is installed on it or not, that's abuse. Or if you require railroads to ship only your oil, or charge competitors more to ship their oil. Which is what Rockefeller [] did with his Standard Oil.

    Those are obvious cases though, other cases would be harder to judge. To me it it's anti-competitive then it's abusive. And no, dropping prices is not anti-competitive. There are at least two ways to compeat, on price or on quality. Of course there could be competition on features as well as others.


  • by speedtux ( 1307149 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:29AM (#28953401)

    The problem with pretending that any Linux distro is a competitor to anything is that none of the Linux distro's have a viable economic model. Living on charity doesn't cut it for real programmers.

    Will you stop spreading this kind of FUD? Linux developers are generally well-paid, by companies that know exactly why they are paying for this kind of development. There is little "charity" involved in developing open source software.

    That's not possible without competition to define the true value of the software.

    Open source defines it just fine: the competitive price of the Windows OS should be zero; an efficient OS development business can obviously cover all its cost from other revenue streams.

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:59AM (#28956659)
    I don't know how you got Insightful. The OpenGroup, in the process of certifying something as Unix compliant and thus be able to use the Unix trademark, issues a testsuite which must compile and run successfully. One part of this test suite is POSIX compliance. Linux wouldn't pass this. As such, it would never be able to use the Trademark. So no, you are wrong, they aren't distinct at all, they are very related.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @12:53PM (#28959573)

    Why does he lose credibility? He has an opinion and a phrase which sums that opinion up.

    Personally, and from most of the people I deal with (many are even stanch MS supporters), the M$ and Micro$oft labels are just used to reinforce the idea that you pay way to much for what you get. As for Winbloze, again, it's a simple play on words that gets a point across without requiring a small thesis (even my elderly parents can understand my opinion with a single word).

    Using the full Microsoft (Hey, should we include the TM as well?) every time becomes tedious, especially if you do not support or agree with the company (either morally, ethically, or technically; although, I can't understand why two of those apply to a company but to each their own I suppose),

    Now, if I respect a person (or company) I find I will use their full name/title without question, (ever notice you do that?); however, if you don't respect a person (or company) you tend to poke fun/tease/mangle their names, activities, or actions (think school kids as adults will generally ignore them out of politeness). So why should this not be happening to MS? What have they done to earn our respect?

    In my opinion any company (or person) who can not behave properly does not deserve respect, and thus "childish" nicknames like M$ will become common; and in this case too common, but, just maybe, it's deserved?

  • by agbinfo ( 186523 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @01:03PM (#28959753) Journal

    I think he's saying that the fact that they could get away with this demonstrates that they are a legal monopoly.

    If they didn't have a monopoly, the software companies that distributed these applications would have boycotted Windows and Microsoft would have had to stop that practice. Being a monopoly, that threat was irrelevant.

  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:54PM (#28963033)

    Who did you buy a netbook from with Linux? []

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury