RE: Is this going to be true ?

From: Joseph D. Wagner (
Date: Tue Dec 10 2002 - 19:05:24 EST

> I am just curious if someone has an opinion for the
> following link?
> Research Firm: Microsoft Will Use Linux by 2004:
> [trim]

Over Bill Gates' dead body. The Microsoft Corporation (and by that, I mean
the people running it: Chairman of the Board, CEO, CIO, CFO, Board of
Directors, most of the stockholders, etc.) is of the genuine belief that
Microsoft Windows is the operating system of the future. (Whether you
believe it or not is a separate topic.) Developing products for the Linux
platform is both 1) an admission that this belief was wrong, and 2) an
admission that their own current version of Microsoft Windows is somehow
shoddy, not-up-to-par, insufficient, or even on an equal footing with Linux.
The Microsoft Corporation will never admit either of those two things.
After all, it's the MICROSOFT CORPORATION. If they didn't believe these
things, they would go somewhere else.

The following scenarios are far more likely.

1) Future development of the Windows operating system or some of its
components will be *BSD based. The Microsoft Corporation will never touch
Linux. Period. The lawyers simply wouldn't allow it. The lawyers think of
GNU GPL as an infectious disease, and so anything Linux is out of the
question. The BSD license is far more favorable to proprietary development,
since it allows you to close off the source. Hence, assimilating a *BSD
structure, component, or piece of code is far more likely.

In fact, Microsoft Windows 2000/XP already did that with Kerberos.

2) Lower prices for Microsoft Licensing or more broadly interpreted
licensing. It may be that to better compete with Linux that Microsoft
lowers the prices of some of its Microsoft products.

One thing Microsoft has already done in this regard is to change the
licensing on Terminal Server. On Windows NT 4.0, each copy of Windows NT
Workstation needed a Client Access License and a Terminal Server Client
Access License to connect to a server and a server's Terminal Server,
respectively. Now, with Windows 2000 and XP Pro, a Terminal Server Client
Access License is included with either a regular Client Access License or a
Windows 2000 or XP Pro operating system license (I forget which).

3) Develop kits, wizards, and other software to help people convert from
Linux to Windows. Microsoft already has Unix for Windows Services (or
something like that with a similar name). It's purpose is to help people
convert from SCO UNIX to Windows. I see no reason that Microsoft can't
develop a similar such kit for, say, Red Hat Linux. (Sure, it would be one
heck-of-a-kit and very complicated, but I can see it).

*Sigh* Yet, another topic for the linux-politics list. There is no such
list, BTW, but this email highlights the need for one.

Joseph Wagner

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