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Wanted: MS spin-doctors to spin Linux to press, OEMs

At last, MS is developing a Linux strategy. But it's just a marketing one...

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Microsoft has been spotted advertising suspicious jobs again, reports LinuxToday, and currently has no less than four positions mentioning Linux in the job descriptions currently posted on its site. But regrettably, although the more dynamic-sounding jobs involve "developing and executing Microsoft's Linux strategy," it's pretty clear from the posts themselves - spinmeisters and uberspinmeister, it would appear - that the strategy isn't intended to be entirely constructive. On the positive side, Redmond is indeed searching for a software test engineer for the IE Admin Kit test team, and some Linux experience here would be considered a plus. Which means in the real world Microsoft is starting to run into Linux shops, and is having to do something about it. But back in the world of spinmeisters we're looking for a couple of product managers to handle things on the PR front. One must: "1. Develop key messages, themes and strategic thinking around three major competitive focus areas, Sun, Novell and Linux. 2. Educate the press/analysts on these messages and become the Microsoft spokesperson for a given competitive area. 3. Responsible for creating both the proactive and reactive PR activities and plans. Additionally work closely with our PR agency to develop and execute these plans. 4. Take leadership role in bringing together a virtual team to perform detailed SWOT [Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, Threats] analysis, understanding customer wins/losses and develop strategic thinking around the competition." The other two product managers (if indeed they're separate jobs, rather than a duplication) will be responsible for "developing and executing Microsoft's Linux strategy, providing competitive technical analysis of the Linux operating system, coordinating and driving cross-company efforts and providing the necessary tools and resources to educate the field sales force on Linux." The posts involve "high visibility" and require "excellent PR and public speaking skills," so we'd presume the other post will be press-facing, while these will be more a case of putting the message over to the OEMs and the OEM sales force. You can probably figure out what the message is likely to be for yourself, but it's worth noting that the nature of the second post suggests strongly that Microsoft is starting to take the threat of Linux in the PC market sufficiently seriously to get spinning against it to the OEMs. The Register would not of course dream of suggesting that some of the Caldera trial documentation, the stuff that covers the DR-Dos versus MS-Dos OEM battles, could turn out to be pertinent at this juncture. ®

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