Bonum Certa Men Certa

The More Aggressive They Get, the Most Troubled They Are

Hunter tiger



Summary: Indicators that Microsoft is feeling cornered

MICROSOFT'S calculated attack on sub-notebooks running GNU/Linux is well documented [1, 2] and since Dana Blankenhorn finds excuses for what Groklaw concludes, it is clear that he has not been following what happened closely enough. What Groklaw offered as a "smoking gun" is just the tip of the iceberg and not even as compelling a proof as the words of ASUS and kickbacks, for example.



Matt Asay claims that "Microsoft is losing its way." The sub-notebooks saga is just one among two symptoms that he offers as examples.

Two new Microsoft directives suggest that the writing is on the wall for the once-great company. And this isn't even to mention Microsoft's tactics to squash Linux's growth in the Netbook market.

First, Microsoft has kicked off a "Get the Facts" browser campaign that is long on hyperbole and short on facts. Reading Microsoft's browser comparison chart, one would think that using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome is a fast track to leprosy: IE apparently dominates in security, privacy, ease of use, healing the sick, and causing the lame to walk.


That latter example we wrote about last week and on Sunday.

There is reason for optimism, however. Competition from GNU/Linux has already forced Microsoft to give Windows away almost free of charge, so Microsoft's profits are down by a third. That's a huge blow. In fact, even the business press which is so friendly towards Microsoft is starting to comprehend the role GNU/Linux plays.

The situation puts Microsoft in a quandary. If the company lowers the price of Windows 7, it could hurt revenues and profits. If it keeps the price high, PC makers might bolt to alternatives, such as the free Linux operating system.

Google (GOOG) is offering PC makers another option. The search giant has been developing the Android operating system, originally to run high-end cell phones. But the software can be adapted for notebooks, and PC makers pay nothing for it up front, though there are often development costs. Acer, the largest seller of netbooks, said in May that it will begin selling an Android-powered netbook this summer.


Needless to say (the article does not state this), Android is Linux based. It is hardly surprising that Bill Gates calls GNU/Linux -- not Mac OS 10.x -- Microsoft's "most potent Operating System competitor". Steve Ballmer claims that on the desktop the market share of GNU/Linux outpaces Apple's, which is only popular on proprietary hardware in wealthy countries (where biased surveys are typically taken).

“We are not on a path to win against Linux”

--Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Platform Group Vice President

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