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Fud alert: Winning the Linux Wars

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Microsoft

It was the kind of scenario that used to strike fear into Microsoft partners' hearts, and Tim Marshall remembers it well. A midsize business was evaluating collaboration solutions, recalls Marshall, vice president of technology at Neudesic LLC, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

Such stories help explain why Microsoft partners who once dreaded battling Linux are now taking on the open source operating system with growing confidence. By aggressively challenging Linux's perceived strengths and highlighting Microsoft's overlooked advantages, partners are finding they cannot only compete with Linux, but beat it decisively.

Even though Microsoft partners are winning some battles against Linux, the war is far from over. "I wouldn't be complacent," advises analyst Murphy. "Where the open source environment's Achilles'heel is supportability and maintenance, the people in that space understand that this is a weakness and are going to work in the next few years to improve."

Still, Marshall, at least, is undaunted. His advice to fellow partners competing with Linux boils down to two words: "No fear."

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