MS kontra Linux. Fuers Archiv
thomas.templin at epost.de
Di Mär 26 21:59:17 UTC 2002
Donnerstag, 21. März 2002 00:20 Thomas Templin wrote:
Eine etwas brauchbarere Quelle zum gleichen Thema:
Makers of PCs Fear Wrath Of Microsoft
Competitors Decline Requests For Linux Configuration
By Jonathan Krim
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 25, 2002; Page A04
Many computer makers are so fearful of possible retaliation from
Microsoft Corp. that they have refused to even discuss configuring
machines with a competing operating system known as Linux,
according to testimony of an executive of Red Hat Inc., a Linux
In written testimony as part of ongoing federal court hearings into
how Microsoft should be sanctioned for breaking antitrust laws, Red
Hat's chief technology officer said "it was as if a skunk had come
into the room" when he would approach computer manufacturers such
as Compaq Computer Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and
Dell Computer Corp. about carrying Linux on personal computers.
Linux is growing in popularity for networks of business computer
systems, but is rarely found running personal computers, in part
because it is cannot offer applications such as Microsoft's
dominant Office suite of word-processing and spreadsheet programs.
But Michael Tiemann testified that Linux on personal computers also
is "taboo" among manufacturers because of a fear that Microsoft
would retaliate if machines were not shipped with the software
giant's Windows operating system.
"As the representative of the only competitor in the domain in
which Microsoft remains all powerful, I have often felt, more than
the Maytag repairman, that I have the loneliest job in town,"
At one point in 2000, Red Hat had a deal with Dell to put Linux in
desktop and laptop personal computers, but it was later abandoned,
Tiemann testified. He said Dell balked at helping Red Hat do the
necessary technical work to make Linux function because he was told
Dell feared it would jeopardize its relationship with Microsoft.
Federal District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has questioned
whether a portion of Tiemann's testimony is hearsay, in which case
she would ignore it. But some of it aligns with internal Microsoft
documents, produced earlier by state prosecutors, showing a
concerted effort by Microsoft executives to pressure computer
makers not to use Linux.
North Carolina-based Red Hat would benefit if the judge accepts
sanctions sought by state prosecutors, which go well beyond a
proposed settlement of the case between the company and the
Department of Justice.
Among other things, the states would require that Microsoft to
auction off a license to Linux re-sellers to carry the Office
package of programs, which would make Linux more attractive to
computer makers and users. The states argue that this is an
important provision to help ensure competition in the market for
"Most of my current clients bemoan the fact that they are forced to
keep Windows on their desktops just to run Office," Tiemann
testified. "Cisco, a current Red Hat client, has asked me
point-blank if I would go to Microsoft and request that they port
Office to Linux. Red Hat contacted Microsoft about it, but
Microsoft has not returned our calls."
Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said yesterday that "we see no great
demand" for Office on Linux, and that engineering a version that
would work would not provide sufficient return on the investment of
Microsoft does license a version of Office that runs on the Apple
Computer operating system.
"They [Red Hat] just want to take our years of research and
development without paying a red cent," Desler said.
Microsoft also argues that Office was never a part of the antitrust
case, and that a Linux licensing requirement is another example of
the states pursuing sanctions designed purely to help its
competitors rather than consumers.
Microsoft attorneys began cross-examining Tiemann late Thursday,
and will resume today.
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