Microsoft and the Threat of Linux


Code : COM0040

Year :

Industry : Information Technology and IT Enabled Services

Region : USA

Teaching Note:Not Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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Introduction:After a very long spell of global slumpmarked by the dotcomburst, the 9/11 attacks and the two wars that followed, the $200 billion software industry was undergoing a sweeping change in 2004. Linux and other forms of open source software entered every segment of the software industry—PCs, mobile phones, set top boxes and servers. Linux, an operating system developed by the collaborative efforts of programmers, was openly challenging the might of established software giants. Unlike the proprietary software companies, which sold the operating systems (without the source code) and other software, Linux was "open source" software, which meant that the source code could be modified according to requirements. Above all this, Linux allowed its customers to share the operating system with any number of people. The explosive growth of the Internet helped open source code, and Linux in particular, to become a global phenomenon. Software giants like Microsoft, IBMand Sun were opposed to the Linux philosophy of "open source" and "free software" ideologies. But, since the late 1990s, Linux's growing popularity divided the industry into two segments—those who acknowledged Linux and those who did not. When IBM started using the Linux OS for its servers, it sent signals that Linux was the future operating system. This indicated the probable end to the Microsoft's Windows OS, which had been themarket leader.

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