Microsoft stated publicly in their IRS 10-K filing that they face “strong competition from well-established companies with differing approaches to the PC market.” It’s important to note that this is the “PC market”, not the server market. Microsoft is explicitly stating that their desktop operating system is threatened by Linux. “Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Canonical, and Red Hat.” I suppose a couple years ago this announcement might have gotten me worked up a bit, but it’s 2009 and I’m just like “Yeah, and you’re just figuring this out?”
I’ve been using Linux exclusively on my computers for about a decade. I’ve been advocating and recommending free software solutions to friends, families, and business partners for a couple years. I know I’m an early adopter, but the landscape for desktop operating systems has changed pretty dramatically in the last couple years, and all signs suggest that it’ll continue to evolve. Web-based computing, netbooks, Google Android, the convergence of smartphone functionality — all of this and more is working against the traditional fat desktop OS maintained by Microsoft. No, the need for Windows on a full-blown desktop PC will likely never go away, but its place as the de facto way in which we compute is slowly disappearing.
Via PC World.