Feeds

MS should embrace Linux, buy Sun, dump Win2k

But actually, this Linux outfit's blatant bid for publicity isn't as barmy as it sounds

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft should break itself up voluntarily, buy Sun and release its own version of Wine, the API wrapper that allows Windows programs to run on top of Linux. This, chutzpah-riddled British Linux developer GBdirect tells us, is how the company can avoid collapse over the next few years and come up with an adequate response to the Linux tide.

Naturally when we got GBdirect's email suggesting we might be interested in the company's somewhat radical take on MS versus Linux, we thought 'desperate bid for publicity.' Well it is, certainly, but the analysis is well-written and thoughtful, and there's quite a bit of interesting meat underlying the sensationalist suggestions. (Full article)

These are based on a pretty fair analysis of Microsoft's current situation. Its Win2k and after development roadmap looks unconvincing and increasingly difficult to execute: "The difficulty of further product development [after Win2k] is extreme; a 30 million lines of code tarpit has been created." Its desktop dominance is threatened by PDAs and appliances, and "the whole concept of 'desktop' could become an anachronism - perhaps within as little as five years." Meanwhile its key executives are increasingly likely to become demotivated and to cash and run, while even the brightest spot, applications, is coming under increasing onslaught.

Now, against this we have what is effectively a Unix counter-attack. "Suddenly through Linux, Unix has been reinvented, made to look hip, trendy, streetwise, and is being given away on the cover of glossy magazines... Linux has caught the imagination of legions of skilled and talented software developers, systems adminstrators, geeks, students and serious end-users, just at the time Microsoft was targetting (and winning) exactly that piece of market space." Among the effects of this is that corporate Unix has had a shot in the arm, and is much better equipped to fight off Microsoft than it was two years ago.

So far so good - quite a lot of people would agree with the analysis of the position, and come to the conclusion that Microsoft is in big trouble, and the whole thing could collapse in the next few years. GBdirect's solutions at first seem improbable, but we have to take into account the likelihood that Microsoft isn't going to take it lying down, and will do anything it takes in order to survive. Anything it takes could conceivably include buying its way back into Unix. It couldn't buy anything major under the current circumstances of the antitrust trial, so as a pre-condition it has to go for a voluntary break-up.

Note that AT&T, having been broken up years ago, now has a lot more scope for acquisitions than it had when it was Ma Bell, so maybe MS could do this too. SCO would be the obvious purchase, but "SCO is pretty much moribund and going nowhere" (we only put that in so we'd get an opinion column from Ray Anderson), while Sun would be the really radical target. By using its own source code to produce a robust, production version of Wine, MS could defend its apps business, albeit at the price of legitimising Linux. But that's where buying into Unix comes in.

GBdirect even has a cheeky little voting section which allows readers to be polled on a number of shocking possibilities, like Microsoft putting NT/W2k into "maintenance only" mode and Red Hat buying the rump of Microsoft after the company fails to change track. It won't happen like this of course, but if it's true that Microsoft's strategy is getting deeper and deeper mired, something radical is surely likely to happen - any rival guesses? Whatever, it's an interesting take, and well worth a look. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.