Read between the lines folks.
MS-Russia is in real trouble here. Their install base is all but eroded away.
Russia (just like many other governments) are out of cash and are mandating Free (as in beer) OSS. They've been told that all schools must use FOSS:
" If a school doesn't want to use the free software supplied by the government, it has to buy commercial licences using its own funds."
And since they're already GIVING it away to non-profits and NGOs just to maintain their install base:
Plus they're loosing the battle in anti-piracy:
MS-Russia is really grasping at straws here.
The funny thing in their latest statement is self contradicting.:
"We must bear in mind that Linux is not a Russian OS and, moreover, is at the end of its life cycle."
"Linux is not a Russian OS..."
(does not have the back doors we need)..
But they are about to MAKE it a Russian OS. Just like China did with RedFlag Linux:
And "is at the end of its life cycle"?!?
Last I checked is is growing like crazy!
The funny thing is that by making their own Linux.. they are, in fact extending it's reach (and life) further.. and further retarding the install base of Windows.
Microsoft knows this.. but just can not say it aloud.
I think it was Gartner who said that MS would have to have an Open Source offering to compete with Linux by 2008. The real work going forward for MS is three fold:
1) How to harness Open Source, given their OSS rep
2) How to make money at it..
and from a closed-source perspective:
3) How to keep GPL from "tainting" your closed source products
(developers love to eat Asian food and pizza together..;)
As a Russian MD refugee friend of mine once told me regarding the government's view on how Russia sees its citizens,
"They say, 'Russia is such nice place. Who woult evah vant to leef?' "
Russia and Microsoft have so much in common.