Microsoft Acknowledges For The First Time That Linux Is A Windows Client Competitor

Posted Aug 7, 2009

Microsoft Corporation has admitted earlier this week that Red Hat and Canonical are competitors of the Windows Client business.  The acknowledgment was revealed in the annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Including Red Hat’s Linux in the filing was influenced by the open source operating system’s growth in market share driven by netbooks.

“Netbooks opened Microsoft to the possibility that some other OS could get its grip on the desktop, however briefly,” stated Microsoft Director of Research for Directions Rob Helm. “Now it’s alert to that possibility going forward.”  The acknowledgment was made in the 10-K report for the fiscal year ended June 30.  Before Red Hat was only listed as a competitor in the Microsoft Server and Tools business.

“Client faces strong competition from well-established companies with differing approaches to the PC market,” wrote Microsoft in the 10-K. “Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Canonical, and Red Hat.”

Microsoft is looking for ways to discourage consumers to go after netbooks and focus on finding lightweight laptops that have the hardware necessary to run Windows operating systems even though several netbook companies still use Windows XP.