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Microsoft Says IBM/Linux Their Biggest Threat 466

krypt0n0mic0n writes "An article at The Register shows that Microsoft sees IBM and Linux as the biggest threats to their market domination. Microsoft's Eric Rudder is quoted as saying that Linux is a "formidable" challenge and that "IBM is our greatest competitor. In the way they sell products and compete in corporate accounts." It goes on to say that they believe the NET server will be a challenge to these competitors."
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Microsoft Says IBM/Linux Their Biggest Threat

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  • by djcatnip ( 551428 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:38PM (#3959509) Homepage Journal
    Funny how that's all they talk about now, who their competitors are.
  • by suso ( 153703 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:44PM (#3959555) Homepage Journal
    I find this rather ironic since Microsoft's big break in the beginning was to be able to create MS-DOS for IBM.
  • continued growth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by f00zbll ( 526151 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:47PM (#3959586)
    I told by a CEO once when asked about the future of the company. He drew the following comparison. "We have no revenue right now, so we can only go up. Whereas some one like MS has to always push to sustain the growth, because if they don't the stock market will think they've peaked and are on their way down."

    Microsoft has to become a major player in enterprises services. If they don't they won't be able to sustain their past growth rates. The OS is rapidly becoming a commodity, now that win 2K is stable enough that that most people don't need to upgrade ever again. Win 2K already does what most people want and more, so the only way to continue to grow is new markets.

    That everyone already knows. Microsoft is doing all these interviews to paint a picture that .NET really is ready for the enterprise world of 24/7 computing. Back in 98 MS commissioned some company to prove SQL Server was good enough to run the NY EX, but everyone in the RDBMS business knows Sybase ASE run the stock market. Is it possible that if MS can't get it's act together with .NET, that they have reached their peek?

  • by DeafDumbBlind ( 264205 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:49PM (#3959610)

    If true, it would make sense that the Power4 is one of those chicp.

  • by Bobzibub ( 20561 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:53PM (#3959658)
    I remember!!!

    MS threatened to jack up their prices for W95 if they marketed their competition, and that would have been the death of their PC line. IBM was *forced* not to market OS/2.

    It didn't make any sense why OS/2 was left to die at the time but it all came out in court documents later.

    Happily, Linux being a kind of "public good" this is a real problem for MS this time around. No one set of thumbs to screw, nails to pull.

  • by Kefaa ( 76147 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @01:54PM (#3959671)
    We have still not finalized the penalty phase. So now that MS has "true competition" the DOJs
    proposal makes perfect sense. MS has been pushed aside in the onslaught of the IBM/Linux OS machine.

    While the sarcasm light was on, let's face it, MS announces nothing that does not benefit them directly. If they are claiming IBM/Linux is a threat it is because they need to be seen as having a competitor.

    Now the question remains "Why?"
  • by Pr0xY ( 526811 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @02:10PM (#3959811)
    we also have to keep in mind that microsoft is simply saying that among its competitors IBM and Linux pose the biggest threat...but that doesnt mean that they pose a big threat.

    It is good to see IBM and Linux getting recognition for the quality/low cost services they provide.

    It's a good step for linux, but a long way to go :)

  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <> on Friday July 26, 2002 @02:23PM (#3959908) Journal
    That single report did what 2 years of lobbying by me wouldn't. 2 days after they recommended seeking alternatives I was directed to begin loading Apache :) Today we use apache and IBM websphere, and IIS require a SVP approval and a rigorous security exam :)

    Following that incredible success story, a linux development team has been started and they are working on SAN connectivity issues now. The age of M$ computing as a server solution is coming to a close. They 0wn the desktop still but I don't support those :)
  • by Ogerman ( 136333 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @03:35PM (#3960639)
    M$ is down and weakened. Their public opinion is in the toilet. They're rapidly losing their marketshare overseas as countries see value in technological independence. The word "Linux" appears at least a half dozen times in every issue of financial newspapers. The MS Office cash cow is shriveling up due to (finally) useful free office suites or equivalent software. Hailstorm flopped and .Net is still vaporware. And WinXP sales have been lackluster because well.. who needs it? -- especially when the economy is down and businesses are rather looking for ways to save.

    And yet, ironically, the Open Source community seems to have somewhat fallen asleep in the midst of the imminent success of our dream: a world dominated by free, open, community-built software where the user / consumer no longer gets screwed at every opportunity. Now, I'm not talking about the major projects where developers have kept up their excellent work. But it's many of the sidelines projects that have ground to a halt. And somehow it seems as if folks aren't 'scratching their itches' as much these days. What happened to the break-neck progress we were making on all fronts? I have a growing list of needed feature-adds, bug fixes, new apps, etc. that is now impossible for me to keep up with on my own. And many are seemingly abandoned projects.

    What happened to the faith in the Open Source model? Why aren't programmers in the US going after careers doing Free Software? One would think now is as good a time as any, especially with the industry in a rut and jobs so scarse! It's so blatantly obvious and yet hardly anyone is taking up the opportunity. For Open Source to win the day, we need to become the next generation of consultants--a new breed that actually supports the software because they can with the code.

    Listen and listen well: Software is NOT a PRODUCT. People need to get over that idea and realize it is an outdated model from the prior tech boom. So if you're a geek looking for a job doing programming, that means you shouldn't be looking for a "software company" in the traditional sense. Instead, look for service-based companies that get paid to scratch the itches of their customers. Or start your own consulting firm with some buddies. Get connected in your local community and then move outwards according to capacity. Start organizations to coordinate development of needed free business software. I can't even begin to count the number of businesses I've heard of that are thoroughly fed up with the proprietary custom packages they use currently. The market is there for the taking!! It's time to go for the kill!
  • by javacowboy ( 222023 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @03:43PM (#3960722)
    Conversely, if Linux/Unix/Java win the enterprise space, Microsoft will have no new source
    of revenue and the encroachment of deskop alternatives (OSX and Linux and BSD) will
    eventually destroy their financial base.

    Sun needs to open-source Java in order to get the OpenSource community 100% behind Java. The SCP is simply not a large enough community to provide the depth of input needed to ensure Java evolves as quickly as .NET. Microsoft, as well as their partners and large customers represents a community much larger than the SCP. Only the legions of OpenSource programmers can hope to compete with it. As Linus Torvalds said in a famous mailing list thread a while back, software mostly evolves according to customer requirements and outside influences, its creation has much less to do with design. With a far larger community around it, Java's evolution would accelerate.

    If Java became OpenSource, both Linux and Java would feed off each other. Suddenly, Java would benefit from the full support of the OpenSource community, and features would be added at a record clip. All the innovations that the Apache Foundation made to Java tools would be magnified substantially. A better compiler would replace javac, for instance.

    Java would be more tighlty integrated into Linux, especially Swing and AWT. Not only would client-side Java dramatically improve, but so would the Linux GUI, as visual components could be assembled far more easily. Linux on the desktop would actually stand a chance. More client-side GUI applications would be written in Java, and hence would run cross-platform, removing much of the incentive for people to stick with Windows.

    BTW, I realize that this will never happen. Sun is a commerical entity and has little reason to do this. Still, it's fun to dream :)
  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @03:47PM (#3960767) Homepage Journal
    ...and a nice spin that seemingly everyone has fallen for.

    Two words: desktop OSX.

    Want more words? iMovie, iTunes, iPod, Final Cut Pro, Apple's recent acquisition of Emagic (Logic Audio) to produce yet another i-something and possibly also a DAW version of FCP, Cocoa, shipping developer tools with the OS, Appleworks, falling demand for Microsoft Office on OSX showing that people are actively considering alternatives even to that...

    I guess it depends which 'market domination' you mean. IBM/Linux may well be a threat on the server space, where they do not already have market domination. Apple is hitting them right in the desktop, where they already HAVE market domination which Linux is basically unwilling to directly attack.

    Apple itself would be just as much of a problem IF they had 97% of the desktop market, but in this situation, they are absolutely deadly to Microsoft, and due to decreasing interest in Office for OSX, increasingly immune from Microsoft's private pressures and threats.

    Want to see a serious threat to MS's desktop market? Wait to see if the antitrust case truly slams Microsoft. If, and only if, Microsoft takes serious damage and blood is in the water, then you may see Apple suddenly spring a complete OSX environment (with a complete set of apps to go with it, and you'll pay for it, too) on x86.

    They are positioned to execute a total blitzkrieg attack on the Windows desktop monopoly, but only if Microsoft is gravely injured by antitrust action. If Microsoft isn't harmed, you won't see any of this: too risky unless the situation is ripe for a really startling change, like to 50/50% virtually overnight. Apple cannot do this if it'll only cannibalize its own hardware sales. Also note it'd be the most wildly copied piece of software around...

    This is speculative- but the bottom line is, this (planted?) article is notable in what it does NOT say. Isn't it interesting that as OSX takes off and shows signs of being a tough market for Microsoft to even sell into, an article is published that pointedly relegates the threat of Apple to beneath mention? Sure, the Desktop is dominated by Microsoft, and that can never change. Unless it does- and it is...

  • by buck_wild ( 447801 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @03:59PM (#3960871)
    TCO includes user training, which is always pricey. Do you want to be the one to tell the VP/CEO:
    You: I can save us $50k per year!
    CEO: How?
    You: I can implement Linux on the desktops and servers for the cost of the hardware!
    CEO: Great! What other costs are involved?
    You: Well, the entire IT staff needs to be retrained, and so does the rest of our 10,000 employees.
    CEO: You're fired!

    End-user hapiness (like it or not) is also a driving force in the decision making process. How many salespeople/marketing/data entry/etc. do you know that would appreciate moving to another OS? None that I know of. People tend to stick with what they know, and learn as little about it as they possibly can.
  • by SquadBoy ( 167263 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @04:41PM (#3961246) Homepage Journal
    Define "enterprise software" without being circular. My point is enterprise used to mean a *very* large company but is now a useless buzzword.
  • Re:Biggest, maybe... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rseuhs ( 322520 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @05:28PM (#3961604)
    The problem is just that:
    • XBox is hardware, not software. Which makes failing A LOT more expensive. No software-project will ever lose 1 billion per year like the XBox does.
    • XBox is a closed product. It has to make revenues within its lifetime, after the lifetime, people move on and you are just left with losses.
    • PS2 is already wiping the floor with XBox and PS3 will come out in a couple of years. That less than 10% marketshare that XBox has is not very promising.
    • XBox is crippled and will always be. Unlike PS2 which will indeed move into non-gaming areas, Microsoft will not be able to put standard-connectors (like USB, firewire etc.) in XBox because they would piss off computer OEMs. (And that would be a bad idea)

    Yeah, that's a long ways out, but you're crazy if you think Microsoft isn't taking the long view on this.

    Calling me crazy won't make any of your wild claims true.

    Fact remains that XBox is a typical SHORT-TERM design. An Off-the-shelf design. (Low development costs, high production costs) If you want to know how a long-term design looks, look at PS2.

  • by unoengborg ( 209251 ) on Friday July 26, 2002 @09:40PM (#3962527) Homepage
    I don't get it. Why all those demands for opensorce java? There are no masses of Linux users that demand
    Intel to opensource the microcode for their processors.

    And in spite of this most openssorce software is developed and runs on closed source intel

    Intel make their stuff out of silicon and the java
    processor is in most cases made in software.
    Why should the material of the processor make
    such a difference?

    After all nobody would be served by thousands
    of different Intel processors, all with small
    improvements of their own. E.g. if you write
    a compiler you would like to write it for
    a well defined target to make sure that code
    compiled with that compiler did run flawlessly
    on those target processors.

    So there has to be somebody to set the java
    standard. Today this is Sun and not ECMA as
    it would have bin if MS hadn't tried to add
    stuff to the standard that would have bin
    detrimental to java security. Or in other words
    turn the java standard in spee into C#

    There is absolutely nothing to prevent people from
    writing opensource software for java. If Sun should
    decide not to provide a free as in bear JVM, there
    is lots and lots of documentation on how it works,
    and it would be no problem writing an open source
    implementation. At least as long as you avoid the
    Java trade mark that needs Suns blessing to be

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