Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Back in the late 1990s, people were touting Linux as the “next big thing.”
Think back to 1998 when an internal memo released by Microsoft about the “Linux threat” was leaked to the public. It appeared that Linux might be on the verge of seriously challenging Microsoft’s dominance in the marketplace. At the same time, people were worried about security vulnerabilities in Windows 98 and the stability issues of the operating system.
Indeed, some of them were mad enough at Microsoft to give Linux a try. It was touted as a free operating system that had a lot of software support (which it was) but was a bit difficult for non-technical types to install and learn (that was true, too).
The end result of the whole hubbub was that Microsoft released a better operating system in Windows XP and Linux did win a few converts, but nothing on the scale that some had hoped. In short, one might argue that competition from Linux — either real or imagined — prompted Microsoft to get its act together and take a hard look at making operating systems that are both more secure and more stable.