Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Microsoft Buys Stake in Company Tying Linux to Windows

Here’s yet another sign that Microsoft has designs on the Linux space…

Microsoft Tuesday came as close at it may ever get to supporting UNIX and Linux when it took a minority stake in integration vendor Vintela. The Lindon, Utah-based Vintela has been cranking out software over the past few months to extend Windows-based authentication, management, and monitoring capabilities to UNIX, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems.

Vintela currently has some 50 customers, mostly among Fortune 500 companies with diverse internal networks. Vintela is currently the only vendor producing such integration technology that links Windows and competing platforms. Experts, however, say another handful of vendors are in stealth mode and will hit the market shortly.

What other signs will we see of Microsoft's interest in Linux? As I've been saying, if you look at it my way, it all makes perfect sense.

I'd guess that Microsoft will pull all support from any ties, however second-hand, with SCO. Spending money on a cause that's already lost is a waste and Microsoft isn't known for wasting money. Not that the fight for market share is lost, but it's not really going to heat up until Longhorn ships. Engineering their next OS into, well, let's call it 'conceptual *nix' (XNIX?), is the very smartest thing for them to do. They can tell the world that their OS is just as fast, stable, and secure as Linux (or better!), yet they don't have to wimp out by starting with someone else's OS and adding bells and whistles, like Apple did. They eventually dump all the myriad headaches of dealing with legacy operating systems and software and start over clean. I'm guessing that Bill Gates has beautiful dreams about something like that :).


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