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Longhorn's Real Job: Trying to Gore Linux

You want to know one reason why Microsoft is taking so long to come out with Longhorn? It wants to make darn sure that it's as Linux and open-source unfriendly as humanly possible. Today, you can mix and match Linux, Windows and open-source programs pretty much as you see fit. On my home network, for example, I run OpenOffice on my XP Pro, W2K and SuSE, Red Hat and Xandros Linux desktops, while accessing files via Common Internet File System (CIFS) on servers ranging from Windows NT to Server 2003 to a variety of Linux and BSD boxes running Samba 3. I can do that because open standards-based programs enable me to pick the best possible programs for my uses.

While I may disagree with Sun Microsystems president Jonathan Schwartz on many open-source issues, such as his calling Red Hat a "proprietary Linux distribution," he's dead right on one thing: Open standards are what make computing really go. Microsoft, of course, sees it another way. In the past, it set its operating systems so that unless you ran Microsoft's own programs, you got a second-class experience. We saw that with Netscape. Now, after having their hands gently slapped by the Department of Justice, the boys from Redmond have another plan: Make it so that users of their next desktop system won't be able to use non-Microsoft-blessed servers or programs at all.

News source: eWeek

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