Frank Fremerey on Tue, 23 Mar 1999 18:37:26 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> 'MS Linux'?

nettime's_roving_reporter wrote:
> MARCH 18, 1999
> If You Can't Beat Him, Join Him
> How Microsoft Plans to Drive Linus Torvalds Insane by Introducing
> MS-Linux
> By Robert X. Cringely
> But the more interesting Linux story this week comes from
> Microsoft, not Apple or IBM. PC Week had a story recently that
> Microsoft was working on a version of Microsoft Office for Linux.
> While Redmond didn't confirm this story they didn't deny it,
> either, which in the case of Microsoft is usually a grudging
> confirmation.

Sure, there will be MS-Office for Linux if customers request rises
beyond the actual level, so do not expect it earlier than by the end of
next year.
> I have been pondering this a lot, looking for spiritual guidance,
> and conclude (purely on the basis of thought, mind you, since I
> have no inside knowledge) that we will soon see MS-Linux.

My prediction for this years CeBIT was that Microsoft will even do
something much more intelligent: They will implement their whole set of
APIs for Linux to get themselves into the position of selling
"MS-enhanced Linux" (i.e. a commercial desktop for the free OS) to OEMs
for the same price they sell the Windows-OEM-licence.

Microsoft's goal is not to spread Windows, but to earn a certain amount
of money from every PC sold worldwide. Their argument for businesses is
that it is much cheaper to buy the Desktop than to pay for extra

The approach will also give Linux a boost, because there will suddenly
be millions of sofware applications running on it, that were only
available for Windows before. The software developers will possibly only
have to recompile and test their code. And there would certainly be the
possibility to make Linux Binary compatible to Win32-code which would
even save the effort of recompiling.

It is in the hands of the US Justice Department now to decide whether MS
will also reign the Linux world: If they decide to require MS to open
the Win 9x-Source, the Linux community can make the Kernel
Win32-binary-compatible within months and there will be real competition
again. Otherwise: Expect MS to reign Linux within 2 years.

Frank Fremerey
Bonn 23. March 1999
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