M$ Still Targets Linux Users

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Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft representatives say the company is stepping up its efforts to coax customers to replace Linux with Windows, highlighting a new campaign aimed at specific kinds of server workloads.

Speaking at the company's annual financial-analyst meeting on Thursday, Kevin Johnson, a Microsoft group vice president, said the software giant is focused on offering specific products and services aimed at three types of workloads where Linux is now a common choice: Web servers, high-performance computing, and edge servers.

"We are targeting product and technology offerings to the unique needs of running those workloads," he said.

Targeting Linux

The plan is an extension of the Microsoft "Get the Facts" campaign, which the vendor launched in 2003 to compare the value proposition of Windows versus Linux in an effort to show customers that Windows offers a better return on investment in most cases.

Johnson said Microsoft's plan to target areas where Linux is especially popular will help Windows displace the open-source operating system.

"With our laser focus on these workloads, I would expect us to win more and more customers," he said.

Peaceful Coexistence

At the same time, Microsoft seems to be warming up slightly to Linux, or at least recognizing it as a necessary evil.

Over the past 18 months, the company has set up an Open Source/Linux lab, run by Bill Hilf, Microsoft's director of platform technology strategy, on its Redmond, Washington, campus to test Linux and other open-source software. In the lab, proprietary Microsoft software is deployed alongside Linux and other open-source technologies to ensure better interoperability among them, Hilf said in an interview earlier this week.

By Elizabeth Montalbano
IDG News Service