Microsoft has thrown in the towel and gone back to its very dark and distant roots in the Unix world with a surprise announcement today that it is working on a Linux emulator for Windows.
It may come as a surprise to some but back in the 1970s, during the first days of the Redmond upstart, a Unix-based operating system called Xenix was its bread and butter.
In fact at one time, Microsoft Xenix had more market share than all the versions of Unix put together.
But in a shock announcement today, Microsoft has resurrected this technology and put it to work on a Windows-based Linux emulator under the DOOrS (Development Of Open re-Source) project.
The DOOrS emulator will only be available on Windows NT and 2000 as it needs a Posix (Portable Operating System Interface eXtension) compatible operating system on which to run.
This is because Linux - contrary to belief - is not actually an operating system, but simply a BSD compatible kernel.
DOOrS will give enterprise Windows users the ability to run applications in a virtual stable Linux environment.
However, when asked whether users could benefit from the cost savings of free Linux software, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said: "Unfortunately not.
"We avoided losing capital through that loophole by creating a licensing model for DOOrS based on the number of applications you want to run. In today's market, security and stability cost."
When questioned on whether the company saw any licensing problems stemming from the open source GNU GPL licence, Ballmer replied: "In tandem with our DOOrS development initiative we have embarked on a push to recruit all of the open source movement's top people.
"The Redmond campus has been expanded and now features arcades packed with the latest video games, Pizza Huts and, of course, girls, girls, girls. That should see them turning up in their droves.
"In fact Richard Stallman's been here since last Thursday. Oh, and we also have Led Zeppelin."
But when we mentioned that drummer John Bonham died over 20 years ago, Ballmer said: "No, he's one of ours. We've got him. In fact, that's where the inspiration came from.
"About six months ago, Gates and I were listening to the Zepp's last album, In Through the Out Door, and suddenly the smoke cleared - literally - and it was like 'man, return to the open source - that is the way forward'."
Yes, you've guessed it, this is vnunet.com's April Fool story for 2003.
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