The two Ballmers wrestle over ‘Toy’ Linux

Yes it is, says Steve. No it isn't says, er... Steve

The boy can't seem to help it.

Microsoft's lead klaxon Steve Ballmer has once again taken a shot at Linux in remarks reported by CRN.

However, parsing his fortissimo stream of consciousness reveals that there are really two Steves, fighting like ferrets in a sack. Fighting for control of the klaxon.

There's the Steve who dismisses the upstart platform as lacking credibility. This Steve yesterday called Linux a 'toy'. However the Steve who wants to assure analysts that Microsoft is taking its competition seriously rapidly qualified the remark.

"By IBM supporting Linux well then it is not a toy," he barked. Presumably that's because IBM doesn't make or support toys - the PC Jr. not withstanding.

Clearly on a roll, Ballmer adds: "IBM has not participated in the modern software revolution." Which revolution is that, we wonder? Whatever you think of the Great Satan of Mainframes, the relational database, SGML and SQL have some part to play in modern software, and all were born at IBM.

Objectively, Microsoft can probably score points against Linux if it presses the right buttons. But right now, it doesn't seem to know where they are. ®

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