Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer on Thursday warned Asian governments that they could face intellectual rights-infringement lawsuits for using rival open-source operating platforms such as Linux.
Ballmer, speaking in Singapore at Microsoft’s Asian Government Leaders Forum, said that Linux violated more than 228 patents. He did not provide any detail on the alleged violations, which the Linux community disputes. [CNN, November 19th, 2004]
The man is a big sweaty ape sowing lies about alternative software. While consistently espousing that Linux isn’t a threat to Windows, Microsoft continues to stave off Linux encroachment in the server and corporate workstation market with misleading ads and bogus claims about security.
The truth is, Linux is a very potent threat to Microsoft’s enterprise market.
Ballmer, meanwhile, can’t make up his mind.
“I think you have to rate competitors that threaten your core higher than you rate competitors where you’re trying to take from them,” Ballmer said. “It puts the Linux phenomenon and the Unix phenomenon at the top of the list. I’d put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1.”
“There is no appreciable amount of Linux on the client anywhere in the world,” Ballmer said in response to questions from Gartner analysts.
The last one is, of course, a lie. In Austalia and NZ, for instance, usage of Linux servers between 1999 and 2002 grew from 17.2% to 32.4%.
If Linux was no threat, then Microsoft wouldn’t feel the need to wave the Jolly Roger of litigation above the heads of customers making or contemplating the switch to a *nix platform. While I am the first to admit that Linux isn’t particularly ready for the desktop, it is a very viable alternative in the server and corporate/government enterprise market. No amount of bogus TCO studies will change that fact.