Another internal Microsoft memo on the threat posed by the Linux freeware operating system has surfaced, this one asking if the courts can stop its momentum.
The first memo, dubbed the Halloween Document because it was posted online on 31 October, was obtained by Linux developer Eric Raymond, and discussed the threat of Linux to Windows NT Server.
Like its predecessor, Halloween II is purportedly from Microsoft product manager Vinod Valloppillil, as well as another Microsoft employee Josh Cohen, and was leaked to Raymond by a former Microsoft employee three days after Halloween I went online.
Valloppillil and Cohen appear to suggest that Microsoft should attack Linux?s development through the courts, to prevent it from ?cherry picking? from other operating systems, including Windows NT.
?The Linux community is very willing to copy features from other OS?s if it will serve their needs,? the memo states. ?Consequently, there is the very real long term threat that as Microsoft expends the development dollars to create a bevy of new features in NT, Linux will simply cherry pick the best features and incorporate them into their base code.?
?The effects of patents and copyright in combating Linux remains to be investigated,? the memo decides.
However, the memo also seems to suggest that Linux already has ?real and perceived virtues? over NT, including customisation, scalabaility, availability, reliability, and interoperability.
The memo also notes that most of the primary applications people would require when they move to Linux are already freely available, including Web servers, mail servers, and text editors.
Raymond argues the memos are clear proof that Microsoft is taking the threat of Linux far more seriously than it has admitted in public thus far.
However, sceptics have questioned the validity of the memos, which despite their damaging contents could be said to have appeared at a beneficial time for Microsoft.
A large part of the Redmond-based company?s defence in its ongoing antitrust trial with the US Department of Justice is that it does not have a monopoly on the operating systems market. Its lawyers have referred to Linux in court as an example of how new operating systems can emerge.
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