MS is getting scared of Linux

By Brian Redfern
December 3, 2008

It looks like MS is seriously feeling the heat from the likes of Ubuntu, Fedora, OLPC and the eeepc.

Now this is interesting. As a musician and new media artist I'd still have to say that Apple has the upper hand.

For years I used only Linux, I think that Blender and csound are the most powerful tools, along with jack and ardour, jamin, pd.... There's actually a lot of good media software for Linux, but for a professional or wanna be professional artist it still doesn't stack up to the power of the Adobe suite or Logic Audio or Final Cut.

Apple has developed a powerful niche beyond selling to people who like eye candy.

They serve the whole creative computing community to a great degree, much more so than Microsoft.

So MS certainly has a lot more to lose from desktop linux than does Apple.

While you can use a windows box to do everything you can do on a mac, its not a very efficient experience. Professional media people don't have time to waste on messed up drivers.

You want something that works "out of the box" so you can make music right away.

Plenty of people sitll use windows to make music, but its easy to "outgun" them with the mac. You just work so much more efficiently and the lack of 32 bit limitation means twice as much RAM for audio processing and plugins.

But perhaps MS's fears are a bit overblown? After all you can run Photoshop under Vista, but not on linux and its cheaper than running Photoshop on a mac.

But maybe not that much cheaper?

Is MS afraid the world will bifurcate into Linux/MacOsx with the Mac handling all the media development while business drops MS for Linux due to the downturn?

Well its not that simple. Its nearly impossible for most Windows shops to just drop windows.

I've tried in the past to get them to do it, even in the recent past. But this downturn may have businesses finally taking a serious look at desktop linux as their primary computing platform for employees.

And that might mean interesting business opportunities for linux consultants to help businesses save money.

I guess I better finish this entry and build a consulting website for linux conversion. If MS is this scared maybe there is a market out there for businesses that want to get off the MS yoke.

But I don't expect it to be quite as large as MS fears. Even though no one wants Vista, if Windows 7 is more lightweight it might help.

Or maybe not. But it will be interesting to see how the coming years effect the fortunes of MS.

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