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In a war the weaker party's best choice is often guerilla warfare. In the case
of Microsoft versus Linux there is nothing vital that Microsoft can attack.
It's like the Red Army lining up massive tank battalions to charge down an Afgan valley under massive air support. When they reach the other end of the valley they have accomplished nothing of military value.
Similarly Microsoft can't find anything in the Linux community to attack. Their latest target is stolen SCO code. In the legal process SCO is legally required to reveal their evidence during the discovery phase of the trial. When they do, if there really is stolen code, then the Linux community will recreate the stolen code from scratch. BSD successfully did this years ago when dealing with the ATT lawsuite. That law suite petered out after the code was rewritten because there just wasn't anything to fight about anymore. Rewriting the stolen code, if any, will move Linux out of the bullseye but it will not help IBM because the issue between SCO and IBM is basically a contract dispute.
And so several years from now, after the stolen code is revealed and rewritten, Microsoft will have to find another rocky valley to charge down.
The only thing that Microsoft has to attack is the perceived lack of centralized support. Many companies and organizations out there are still very old fashioned, and they will only embrace technology if they know that there is dedicated support out there to help them fix it when the (inevitably) screw it up. This has been M$'s main artillery when it comes to flinging FUD at the masses. They can not attack Linux's stability, security, solidity, codebase, ability, or customization, so they focus in on the one thing that they can attack.
In the end, I think that M$ is scared. Deep down, I think Ballmer and Gates know that Linux is not an enemy that they can beat. It is not a company you can buy (or squash), it is not small program that you can copy and redistribute under your own name. Linux is a community, it is an ideal, and it is a quest.
Good points, and I like the way you put it slight:
It is not a company you can buy (or squash), it is not small program that you can copy and redistribute under your own name. Linux is a community, it is an ideal, and it is a quest.
You can't fight an enemy you can't see.
I never really thought about it that way. How exactly could Microsoft "beat" linux, they can't overthrough the company Linux, cause it doesn't exist. The base of linux is millions of pro/newbie/normal users around the world, those who post on LQ and other forums, and those who want more than M$ B$. Thanks for your input guys, some good thoughts!