And this comes straight from the horse's mouth! Software giant Microsoft has finally acknowledged Linux as its strongest competitor, much to the delight of Australia s open source industry association.
"Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corp., recently penned a letter which has generated great publicity for Linux and open source software globally. Steve obviously constructed the letter to make Microsoft's products appear more attractive to buyers than Linux.
Would we expect otherwise?" asked Con Zymaris, director OSIA.
"Although it is quite clear that Steve greatly underestimated the security, stability and cost of ownership benefits of Linux and open source software, it is beyond dispute that he considers Linux the only game in town when it comes to competition", stated Zymaris.
Continuing further he added, "This is the greatest form of flattery to all of us - coming from none other than our fiercest competitor. He's done the open source industry a favor, by inadvertently drawing attention to the very software his company competes against."
According to Zymaris, Microsoft is funding campaigns which draw attention to Linux in almost every major IT and business publication around the world. This in turn is helping spur an ever-greater interest in Linux and open source software as an alternative to the Redmond giant.
"Microsoft have on many occasions claimed that Linux is not a major competitive threat to them," said Zymaris. "However, we don't see Microsoft spending hundreds of millions of dollars fighting Solaris, HP-UX, AIX or especially Mac OS X in the media. The only platform Microsoft spends such intense attention and budgets on is Linux. And, as always, actions speak louder than words, concluded Zymaris.
Though Microsoft has been fighting Linux for ages, the only difference now is that it's now out in the open. The software giant has done it all, from ignoring it to launching FUD campaigns and now to acknowledging it.