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by Franki

Microsoft have said in a recent filing to the SEC that it expects sales in 2005 will not be able to keep up with previous years, and that Open Source Software (OSS) is one of the reasons for the less than optimistic forecast.

I find that rather odd that only a week ago, Paul Roworth, Microsoft Australia’s platform strategy manager said:

The perceived threat from Linux is only a misconception and has no validity.
Linux, receives far too much publicity because the truth is that Linux is not challenging Microsoft’s leadership position in the marketplace.
Microsoft’s losses are generally sensationalised; low profile wins by Linux are over-rated, all of which contributes to the misconception.

Is it just me or do Mr Roworth’s statements contradict somewhat, what MS have said in the SEC filing?

It isn’t just “losing” to Linux or other Open Source that is hurting Microsoft, the “threat” of Open Source is almost as bad. Any smart company (or government) that wants a better deal from Microsoft has only to install or Linux of some sort on a few machines and Microsoft will drop their pants to make sure they keep the companies business. That aspect is seriously cutting into Microsoft’s profit margins on the big deals. (Ironically not many of those companies are realising just how badly they were being overcharged before. If Microsoft can happily make massive price cuts to compete with Linux, doesn’t that mean that they’ve been overcharging in the past?)

What all that means, is that Microsoft’s “Get the Facts” campaign, where they put out Microsoft funded reports that make unfair comparisons between Windows and Linux and return the result that “Linux costs more than Windows” isn’t having the total desired effect that Microsoft would like. (i.e. people believing them.)

Oh well, regardless of what Microsoft says, competition is always a good things for consumers, so the harder they have to work, the better a deal that their customers will get. As long as they keep the fighting field fair, (something they are not known for) then I have no problem with it at all.

The Inquirer has covered this as well and you can find it here, as does

INSERT: Eweek has just covered the issue as well and you can find their writeup here.



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