Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Feb 2009 10:17 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer had some interesting things to say yesterday about which companies Microsoft sees as its competitors in the client operating system space. You'd think Apple was their number one competitor - and you'd be wrong. Microsoft sees two other competitors as their primary adversaries.
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I don't get it.

Microsoft's Windows division gets most of its money from bundling Windows with machines from companies like HP, Dell etc. Apple isn't competing in this market, Linux is. Apple's marketshare isn't that important to Microsoft as long as every non-Apple computer that is sold is sold with Windows. If Microsoft starts losing control over non-Apple computers then it will start being in real trouble. Thus Linux is a bigger competetion.

Another factor is that Linux is a fundamentally different way to think about operating systems, while Apple is fundamentally the same. The concept that an OS is something that is modular, adaptable and can be downloaded for free from a variaty of sources is a concept Microsoft doesn't want to take hold. Here they are in full agreement with Apple. If the idea that an operating system should be free (any either sense of the word) and downloadable becomes widely accepted then that will do far greater damage to their bottom line then Apple could ever hope to do.

At the end of the day I'm sure MS would happily see Apple double its world wide market share if it meant keeping Linux at bay.

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