Linux vs Windows


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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA067
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 1990 - 2003
Organization : Microsoft
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : Global
Industry : Information Technology (IT)

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts

The Rise of Linux

Linux had originated from another operating system UNIX, designed by AT&T in the 1970s. UNIX had a unique, modular, file-based structure that allowed the system to evolve piecemeal. Many software developers could work independently on various parts of the program...

Linux Based Business Models

As it was developed under the GNU General Public License the source code of Linux was freely available to the general public. Though Linux and its assorted distributions were free, companies and developers could charge money for additional features and services they offered as long as the source code remained available...

The Linux Threat

In early 2003, Microsoft realized that Linux had emerged as a popular operating system. For developers and users, Linux offered several attractive features. Linux could be downloaded from many sources...

Growing Acceptance among Corporates

Since 2000, Linux had increased its market share in corporate applications. It ran on nearly 10% of all servers and was growing at about 23% a year. Roughly 30% of chief technologists considered moving to Linux...

Microsoft's Response

Microsoft had done its best to put down the Linux uprising. In 1999, the company created a Web site under the heading "Linux Myths" that questioned Linux's performance and reliability. In June 2001, in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Ballmer labeled Linux a "cancer" because open-source rules impinged on intellectual-property rights...

Conclusion

Linux threatened Microsoft precisely because it was not like any of the company's previous challenges. "We're used to competing with products and companies,"admitted James E. Allchin , the group vice-president of Microsoft's Windows business: "It's different than anything else we've dealt with before."...

Exhibits

Exhibit I: A Layman's Guide to Linux
Exhibit II: Companies Working on Linux Products



 

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