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Microsoft is bracing itself for protesting hordes of Linux supporters at this week's Windows 2000 launch. The Great Satan of Software yesterday confirmed it was expecting direct action from members of the Linux fraternity on both sides of the Atlantic. The UK launch of the Win2k operating system, taking place at London's well-barricaded Earl's Court, is expected to be picketed by at least one posse of protesters. It's unclear whether the group is intending to penetrate the building, or simply thrust CDs and pamphlets on the unsuspecting public outside the event. However, Microsoft is determined not to let the action spoil its fun. Security will be tight at the event, and all press and visitors have been warned they will not get into the venue without the regulation fluorescent green Win2k launch party badge. "While Microsoft welcomes competition, it does not believe that spoiler tactics like direct action will benefit the Linux community," said one Microsoft representative. "In fact, as our planned launched event is for customers and partners, it may do more harm to potential Linux consumers." However, the Linux fraternity seems unfazed by the comments. One supporter has even started a "February 17, 2000, Linux Demo Day" Web site. The site, by Deepak Saxena in the US, proposes the community use the day to promote Linux peacefully –- and not as "a Microsoft bashing event". "On this date, Microsoft will be releasing Windows 2000, their eagerly anticipated 'new' operating system," says Saxena. "While I am not a Microsoft hater, I think this is a good opportunity for Linux users to let end users know that there is a viable alternative. In this case, a very viable alternative." "Maybe you work at an all NT company and you can use this day to put together a presentation for management about Linux and its alternatives," suggests Deepa. Or he also proposes staging "education" events in large shops. Saxena was reluctant to discuss details of the protests. However, he did reveal to The Register that two Linux groups were expected to hold some kind of event in the UK. Saxena said was also "expecting a few" groups to take action in the US. Saxena preferred not to go into detail -- a decision which may have something to do with his job. At the bottom of his site, Saxena states that he is an employee of Microsoft's bosom buddy, Intel -- though he stresses that his views "do not in any way represent the views of his employer". ® Take the A-List with The Register The Register has four tickets in its possession for Microsoft UK's Win2k celebration on Thursday. Only 250 people are allowed in, and it's strictly invitation only. What's it worth to Microsoft for us not to make our W2K party badge open source? Donations please to Children in Need. Related Stories Linux best selling server OS in US Intel-branded Web PC will run Linux China not dumping Win2K for Linux after all, says official

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