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MS promotes Linux from threat to ‘the’ threat – Memo

And urges sales reps to tattoo their butts

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Exclusive "Linux is the long-term threat against our core business. Never forget that!" Microsoft Windows Division Veep Brian Valentine exclaims in a confidential memo to his Sales Brownshirts obtained by The Register. (our emphasis)

The core outrage from Valentine's perspective is all these Sun and IBM shops migrating in droves to the cheaper Intel platform, and observing along the way that Linux is a good deal easier to deal with if you're already acquainted with UNIX. Funny that. Kinda the key idea behind Linux, but we digress.

"I need you to make sure that as many of these customers as possible continue to migrate off of UNIX, but on to Windows 2000 on Intel," Valentine says. "You should be smothering your accounts from every angle, and if you see Linux and/or IBM in there with it, then get all over it. Don't lose a single win to Linux."

Valentine's hard-sell hall monitors will be marching through a data center near you, we gather, searching for open-source contaminants and anything else that breathes in the marketplace and consumes their air.

"If you haven't done it at your customer sites -- then do a walk-thru of their datacenters and take inventory of where you see Sun machines, IBM, etc and ask them what they running on those machines. Learn about what they do with those systems, keep that inventory in your back pocket -- hell -- tattoo it on your butt if you have to -- and go after them. Knock them out one machine, one application, one department at a time. I cannot stress how important this is!"

It's no secret that MS has long regarded Linux as a threat, at least not since Eric Raymond broke the news two years ago with the infamous Halloween Documents. But it's lovely to see it becoming the threat, apparently because it empowers people to operate computers and networks without buying into the nebulous Microsoft .NET vision, which, as you'll see below, the company thinks of as something to be 'positioned' by its products.

We just love the way salesmen talk. Especially frightened ones. ®

The text

From: Brian Valentine
Sent: Sat 11/10/2001 12:01 PM
To: WW Sales, Marketing & Services Group
Cc:
Subject: Hello again - long time no talk to...

Linux Wins & Update

I'd like to share with you are some great Linux wins we've had recently. But before I do, I need to highlight a trend that we're seeing with many of our customers. They're fed up with expensive UNIX/RISC solutions from Sun, HP, and IBM. They're looking to move and they want to migrate to the Intel platform. Unfortunately, because Linux is very similar to UNIX, and porting applications from UNIX to Linux isn't that hard, we're starting to see customers move their UNIX applications to Linux on Intel platforms. I need you to make sure that as many of these customers as possible continue to migrate off of UNIX, but on to Windows 2000 on Intel.

There are many other things that you need to watch out for with Linux and the Linux Compete Team has been busy creating some great collateral to help you win. One thing you have to always keep in mind here -- Linux is the long term threat against our core business. Never forget that! You should be smothering your accounts from every angle and if you see Linux and/or IBM in there with it, then get all over it. Don't lose a single win to Linux.

If you have not done it, you should inventory all of your accounts to know exactly where Unix (in any flavor, Sun, HP, IBM, etc) is and get engaged with them on how to convert them to the PC economics model and when doing that move to the best developer, application and OS platform in Windows. If you haven't done it at your customer sites -- then do a walk-thru of their datacenters and take inventory of where you see Sun machines, IBM, etc and ask them what they running on those machines. Learn about what they do with those systems, keep that inventory in your back pocket -- hell -- tattoo it on your butt if you have to -- and go after them. Knock them out one machine, one application, one department at a time. I cannot stress how important this is!

Now, on to the wins.

Let's hear it for Mandy Samuelson and her account team in Melbourne, Australia. They were competing head to head with IBM (who was proposing a Linux solution) at JB Were Holding, a worldwide stock brokering firm. In this time of economic downturn, IBM almost had the customer convinced that Linux was the low cost platform of choice for 126 servers. Mandy's team stepped in and fought tooth and nail for the business, displacing the IBM Linux threat for a platform win worth over $400,000 US. How did they do it? By selling the advantages of our platform and the new volume licensing program. The customer saw the value in the changes and believed in the Microsoft platform and decided to take advantage of the savings. Thank you team -- that's one less tattoo Mandy and crew will need to get.

Speaking of fights, Brett Cocking and team from the SLG vertical just don't know when to quit! Not only did they displace RedHat for a 40+ web server deal at Broward County in Florida, they're also going straight after one of the Linux community's key wins at the City of Largo (dubbed the City of Progress). "If they're the city of progress, why are they running Linux?", Brett jokes. "We're going in there to show them how much value exists in the Microsoft platform and take this win away from Linux!" Key in both accounts is the way Brett's team positions Microsoft's future .NET vision as well as providing great products like Windows 2000 to start building on that vision today. Thank you team! I know Brett digs tattoos, but this is one less he is going to have also.

Finally, there's the Ameritrade team. Lloyd Arrow and team lost initially to Linux in the design phases by getting vetoed by the CIO, even after winning on all other merits. After several months of schedule slips trying to implement Linux, the Ameritrade CIO resigned. The account team was back at it with the new CIO and within a month were ready to deploy Ameritrade's most strategic apps, their Stream Quotes Servers, on Windows 2000. This is a key win and will expand from 5 servers to 100's of servers as the service is rolled out to all of Ameritrade's customers. The win demonstrated our business agility and shorter time to market over Linux. Great work team! Lloyd now has more body surface area saved to get that Windows tattoo he has always wanted!

If any of you have additional wins against Linux, along with your strategies & tactics for winning, let me know for future e-mails!

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