Microsoft finally changes their message on Linux

Ryan Weal

February 06, 2006

In the late 1990s Microsoft stepped in to help Apple out when the stock price fell through the floor. The effort was enough to let Apple continue operating while they radically changed their direction to embrace Unix as the core of the Macintosh operating system. In return Microsoft provided a really terrible version of Internet Explorer to help people along on the web with their old OS 9 machines. Years later that move paid off, Microsoft abandoned the Apple deal but the software support for the Mac is better than it ever was now that everything is running smoothly on Unix.

Now Microsoft plans to strike a deal with Novell. They distribute a version of Linux, called Suse, which competes with Red Hat in the enterprise desktop and server markets. Up until now Microsoft has been denying Linux any headway by promoting a "Get the facts" campaign that seeks to dispel any studies that find Linux to be more efficient than Windows. So this move is shocking but familiar territory for the software giant.

Maybe they'll finally release a stable and secure version of Windows based on Linux. We can only dream.

Here's that clip from Macworld 1997 in case you missed it -