Taking its first stab at sponsoring a booth at the upcoming LinuxWorld Expo, Microsoft will attempt to make some connections in the open source and Linux worlds.
The company has confirmed that it will have a small presence at the Expo held at the San Francisco Moscone Center.
"We chose to have a presence at the show because it is an important audience for the company and we believe that we need to have more of an open dialogue with the Linux community," a Microsoft spokesman said.
He added that, while it was too early to know what the company's final booth presence would look like, Microsoft would be "showcasing our embedded offerings for developers - Windows CE, .Net and XP Embedded - and discussing the many offerings for the developer community".
Blake Stowell, of Linux distributor Caldera International, saw this as a good thing because Microsoft was clearly legitimising Linux and confirming that it is one of the biggest threats to its market dominance.
"Linux has been eroding Windows market share in the server market for years and, by coming to a Linux show, I see this as a move to try and stave off some of that erosion," he said.
According to Stowell, Microsoft has tried on three occasions to introduce Windows CE into the embedded space and "failed miserably because, as an embedded operating system, it is an absolute memory hog and the system requirements are quite steep".
Microsoft rivals Sun Microsystems and Oracle will also be on hand to share ideas on how their Linux products and services will support the open source community.
Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive at Sun, and Larry Ellison, chairman and chief executive at Oracle, will be among the keynote presenters at LinuxWorld.
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