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SubjectRe: [OFFTOPIC]: MS Porting Office to Linux?



Don't be lulled into complacency by this "Oh, Microsoft is only
doing this to look like they are not afraid" idea. Microsoft
wants to kick everyone's ass. They want to sell the most
software on every mainstream OS, regardless of whether or not
they own and develop it. Look at the MacOS. Who makes the
most money from MacOS software? Microsoft. I used to work for
M$ and, believe me, I attended many meetings where BillG stated,
in no uncertain terms, that Office on the MacOS was important
for financial, strategic and political reasons.

Remember Java. Microsoft's primary focus has always been to:

1) Identify the competition.
2) Figure out what the competition is doing right.
3) Identify weaknesses (these can be technical,
business, marketing, staffing, whatever).
4) Identify the key drivers of customer satisfaction
in the category.
5) "Embrace and extend" the competitor's products
6) Then, they:

"Integrate" the competitor's functionality into
the OS, effectively killing the market


Buy the competitor


Flood the market with a comparable product
at a greatly reduced price (Word, Excel, etc.)


Make deals with OEMs to preload their products
so that the competitor's product is largely

In other words:

If Microsoft sees an OS gaining a large market, they will make
sure that their products are THE default, pre-loaded software
for OEMs shipping the OS.

Microsoft WILL release software for Linux and attempt to get a
lock on the OEMs that ship Linux systems. They will probably
even try to come out with development tools that force
developers to use their APIs and tool sets.

Microsoft's pockets are so deep that they are making more
profit from the INTEREST on their CASH than most any other
company is making selling PRODUCTS. They can throw a lot
of money, time and energy into winning in any market that
seems attractive.

Microsoft is agnostic when it comes to where it makes money.
Witness WebTV, WinCE, Embedded WinNT, MacOS, MSN. They are
also relentless in pursuing strategic goals. The are
willing to toss billions of $$$ into the hole, if it plugs
a hole that needs to future revenues and market domination.
Witness IE for Unix (they aren't making any money there).

The only way to release Microsoft's grip on the throat of
the computing community is for Linux to succeed in creating a
mass market for which there are development tools and core
applications that Microsoft doesn't control or make money
from. That means that the Linux community needs to produce
slick killer commercial-quility applications:
word processing, spreadsheet, personal information managers,
groupware, databases, graphics tools, project managers,
publication apps and presentation apps. They need to support
transparent data exchange with each other and with PC

If commercial quality applications and integrated development
environments don't become available soon, Microsoft will move
in and begin trying to get their stuff bundled on systems.

Also, as Microsoft has already done with Internet Exploder
for Unix, they will build a bunch of UI extensions in that
make all their applications play nice together (drag and drop,
common data formats, all the Win95 keyboard and mouse UI and
so on).

World Domination for Linux will require that Linux software
companies and developers "embrace and extend" Microsoft's
applications functionality, OS UI and development tools
unless they want to wake up one day to find that Microsoft
has locked up the market for Linux shrink-wrapped software.

I know that developers of Linux love the fact that it isn't
bloatware. However, consumers don't care whether an
application is bloated or not. They just want to get their
job done, whatever it may be. Microsoft figured out a long
time ago that Moore's Law meant that they could go ahead and
develop software that was to release in a year that required
machines twice as fast as the PCs available at the time.
Building things that are small and fast is not always the best
business decision. Microsoft is all about winning in business
and they aren't too proud to do whatever it takes.

The Linux development community must be pragmatic and beat
Microsoft at its own game.


Please forgive me if I've offended you. I am only sending this
because I dearly want Linux and non-MS-software-developers to win
and I want Microsoft to be diminished.



Ewan Dunbar wrote:
> Is Microsoft now running Hotmail on Linux? I heard so, and lynx reports
> the server to be Apache. I think this is bad news. It's showing that
> Microsoft isn't afraid of Linux, and they don't think it to be a threat.
> However, since it is quite a threat to everything they stand for, I think
> they're probably just trying to look like they're not afraid. They know
> they wouldn't have anything to do with it if they were afraid. They know
> that if they port products to Linux, many new users would go straight for
> it, and it would hardly benefit Microsoft.

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